Vicarious Trauma, Burnout and Compassion Fatigue: WMHCA

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Vicarious trauma can negatively impact a clinician's physical, emotional, and mental health. Counselors need to be aware of the warning signs and preventative measures in order to avoid vicarious traumatic stress. This workshop intends to educate counselors about 2nd hand trauma and provide strategies to manage overwhelming demands in the field. It is also designed to provide tools to combat burnout and increase the quality of care provided to clients. Participants can expect a blend of lecture-based teaching and experiential learning.

Timed Outline

  1. Introductions and ice breaker (15 minutes)
  2. Discussing terminology (vicarious trauma, moral injury, compassion fatigue, shared trauma, burnout) (20 minutes)
  3. Small group/break out room reflection (10 minutes)
  4. 5 minute stretch break (5 minutes)
  5. Self-assessment activity (ProQOL) - impact of burnout, etc. on counselors (20 minutes)
  6. Small group/break out room reflection (10 minutes)
  7. Self-care discussion (10 minutes)
  8. Wrap up (5 minutes)

Learning Objectives

• Define vicarious trauma, burnout, and compassion fatigue • Describe how vicarious trauma, burnout, and compassion fatigue impact the counseling process • Participate in self-assessment activities regarding current levels of vicarious trauma, burnout, and compassion fatigue • Describe the potential benefits for incorporating self-care strategies to mitigate the effects of vicarious trauma, burnout, and compassion fatigue

Presenter: Dr. Ellen Carruth, PhD, LMHC, NCC

Dr. Carruth is currently a Professor at the University of Puget Sound, and Director of the Master of Education in Counseling program. Dr. Carruth received her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Tennessee, a CACREP-accredited program. Dr. Carruth is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Washington State, and an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS). has spent the last 25 years working first as a music therapist and later as a mental health counselor and counselor educator. During her time as a music therapist, Dr. Carruth spent time working with older adults dealing with the effects of dementia, with adolescent males in correctional centers, and with young children and families who had witnessed and experienced trauma and interpersonal violence. During her time as a mental health counselor, Dr. Carruth spent time working with severely and persistently mentally ill adults, providing counseling and case management support from a wellness model.