Coping Skills for Staff
This program focuses on fostering connection to the self, self-care and self-nurturing, and a healthy life balance as these have been found to be important in decreasing the impacts of vicarious trauma and burnout in staff. We utilise our expertise in counselling, trauma therapy and somatic bodywork to provide psychoeducation to staff around vicarious trauma, offer coping strategies to manage the impacts of bearing witness to trauma and suffering and provide space for processing and meaning-making.
In person programs in Myanmar, online programs available! Get in touch today.
Coping skills groups for staff aim to:
prevent and address vicarious traumatisation
build participants’ sense of empowerment and agency
explore body-based practices to manage vicarious trauma and burnout symptoms
reduce stigma associated with self-care
learn and practice stress management techniques and activities
develop self-care practices to support individuals mental health and wellbeing
offer participants the opportunity to be active participants in a group
For support workers, including psychologists, social workers, caseworkers, counsellors and researchers as well as managers and team leaders, ongoing exposure to trauma and stress can impact individuals at physical, emotional, psychological and social levels.
In order to provide care to others,
we first need to take care of ourselves and our needs.
Your team are your most important asset in the services you provide. Taking care of their wellbeing and mental health leads to improved productivity and efficacy of services as well as a positive workplace environment, supportive team and greater retention of staff. This program is designed to support individuals' mental health and wellbeing as well as fostering a sense of community and connection within your organisation.
About Vicarious Trauma
Vicarious trauma, or secondary trauma, is defined as “a transformation of the helper’s inner experience, resulting from emphatic engagement with a client’s trauma material” (Laurie Anne Pearlman and Karen Saakvitne). For support workers, including psychologists, social workers, caseworkers, counsellors and researchers, an ongoing exposure to trauma can impact individuals at physical, emotional, psychological and social levels. Signs and symptoms of vicarious trauma include the same symptoms as PTSD such as flashbacks, feelings of isolation and alienation and depression as well as increased cynicism, sense of hopeless and helplessness and changes in world view and identity.
Christian Pross identifies key factors for preventing burnout and vicarious trauma which include self-care and therapeutic self-awareness. The Blue Knot Foundation (experts in complex trauma) highlights that activities which foster connection to self and a healthy life balance are important in decreasing the impacts of vicarious trauma along with a focus on self-care and self-nurturing. Physical activities such as yoga provide opportunities for participants to connect with their bodies in a safe environment, to explore the possibility of using their body as a resource and potentially to nurture a compassionate relationship with one’s self and one’s body.
Pross, C. (2014), Burnout, vicarious traumatization and its prevention: What is burnout, what is vicarious traumatization?, <https://irct.org/assets/uploads/Burnout,%20vicarious%20traumatization%20and%20its%20prevention.pdf>
"So how do you sit with a shattered soul?
Gently, with gracious and deep respect.
Patiently, for time stands still for the shattered, and
the momentum of healing will be slow at first.
With the tender strength that comes from an openness
To your own deepest wounding,
and to your own deepest healing.
Firmly, never wavering in the utmost conviction that
evil is powerful, but there is a good
that is more powerful still.
Stay connected to that goodness with all your being,
however it manifests itself to you.
Give freely. Take in abundantly.
Find your safety, your refuge, and go there as you need.
Words won't always come;
sometime there are no words
in the face of such tragic evil.
But in your own willingness to be with them,
they will hear you;
from soul to soul
they will hear that for which there are no words.
When you can, in your own time,
turn and face that deep chasm within.
Let go. Grieve, rage, shed."
Steele, K. (1987). Sitting with the shattered soul. Pilgrimage: Journal of personal exploration and psychotherapy
If you are interested in organising a Coping Skills for Staff program at your workplace or organisation, please get in touch via the contact form below or feel free to give me a call or send me an email to discuss options.
Telephone: +95 9 40694 5184