On June 5th, the clinic staff at Bronx Community Solutions attended a Transforming Trauma workshop, hosted by the Trauma Stewardship Institute (TSI). TSI works with professionals to raise awareness, increase understanding, and manage the impact of repeated vicarious trauma exposure (i.e., working with individuals who have experienced trauma). The day was dedicated to discussing and understanding the ways in which vicarious trauma exposure can impact an individual as well as their family, friends, co-workers, and communities.
The presenter and founder of TSI, Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, worked with participants to identify ways to recognize the negative impacts of vicarious trauma on one’s interpersonal relationships, both personal and professional. Using research and anecdotal evidence, Laura offered support and validation for the difficulty faced by professionals who, through their work, are repeatedly exposed to tragedy and human suffering. Participants were also encouraged to ask questions, offer support, and share their experiences.
Following the presentation, BCS clinic staff discussed their feelings about the workshop and some of the ways it helped us to think about and recognize the impact of vicarious trauma we may experience through working with our clients. Many of the clients we serve at BCS are in the midst of crises and/or have significant histories of trauma; during our brief time with them, they often share details of their personal lives, giving us a glimpse into the daily struggles and hardships they face. The workshop served as a helpful reminder of the importance of awareness, self-care, and actively seeking ways to manage the aforementioned impacts in order to maintain psychological and physical health, as well as to better serve our clients.
- Marsha Brown, Clinical Coordinator
Bronx Community Solutions