Log in
Human Services Network of Colorado

Heal Vicarious Trauma with Healing Informed Self-Care

  • 04/23/2024
  • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Zoom Webinar
  • 48


  • Colorado Housing & Finance Authority Member


When working with people who are in the midst of personal crisis, trauma, or emotional distress, it is common to eventually exhaust yourself from vicarious trauma (aka secondary trauma or compassion fatigue). This workshop is focused on ways to exercise self-care and self-compassion for human services professionals. Self-compassion involves treating ourselves with the care that you would offer a close friend. We will discuss the benefits of self-compassion and how to cope with caregiver fatigue. We will also talk about how to incorporate self-compassion into everyday life. We encourage you to fight caregiver fatigue by taking this time to learn to care for yourself at this enjoyable, interactive workshop.

Participants will learn about the impact of traumatic stress on the brain and on the body. Concepts of vicarious trauma, secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout will be addressed. Finally, we will explore organizational and personal strategies that can be employed to mitigate the effects of secondary traumatic stress.

Causes of vicarious trauma

Your clients may have experienced trauma associated with childhood abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault or other violent crimes, disasters, war, forced migration, or even political torture. Vicarious traumatic stress is now recognized as an occupational hazard of providing direct services to populations with histories of trauma. Vicarious trauma involves a transformation which occurs in the inner experience of the human services practitioner as a result of empathetic engagement with their clients' traumatic experiences. The emotional costs of caring for clients with histories of trauma can be significant, including the loss of personal and professional resiliency. A growing body of research evidence has demonstrated that secondary traumatic stress has the potential to erode work performance, undermine motivation and morale, and adversely impact the personal health of the practitioner.

Healing (Trauma) Informed Self-Care (HISC) is an important best practice model for all direct care workers to understand. Understanding Healing Informed self-care is at least as important in the direct care field. Research in trauma, neuropsychology, positive psychology and other disciplines identify several approaches to self-care that help mitigate stress, trauma, secondary trauma, compassion fatigue and burn-out. Understanding how we are affected, as well as how we can care well for ourselves and others, will undoubtedly help us lead and shape the future together. Learning objectives include the following.

By the end of the training, learners will be able to:

  • Describe Stress, Trauma, Secondary Trauma, Burn-Out, Compassion Fatigue, Zoom Fatigue, Moral Fatigue &/or Comparative Suffering;
  • Be able to identify symptoms in yourself and others and know how to access help;
  • Understand what predicts Vicarious Trauma;
  • Become aware of causes and consequences in order to help decrease vulnerability;
  • Practice self-administered stress reduction relaxation techniques
  • Identify at least one way to insulate themselves from Vicarious/Secondary Trauma, Burn-Out &/or Compassion Fatigue
  • Identify at least one thing they will do for better Self-Care.

Presenter: Melinda Marasch, LCSW
Aspire Training & Consulting

It is my honor to do exciting work with the amazing, compassionate people in the nonprofit world! It has been my life’s passion to help others, first as a psycho-therapist and now as a consultant. I specialize in clinical supervision in the form of training (in-person and online), as well as individual and group sessions. We serve licensed and unlicensed individuals, as well as programs and organizations. I have expertise in many areas, including HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, mental illnesses and much more. I also provide coaching to clients who are motivated to maximize their assets. 

Eligible for 3 hours Certificate of Completion

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software