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Who Cares For The Carers? Secondary and Vicarious Trauma

Date: Wednesday, 22nd Nov 2023 | Category: General

On this day, we want to raise awareness of secondary /vicarious trauma and provide tools and effective strategies that enable staff and volunteers to promote their own wellbeing when safeguarding others.

What is Secondary Trauma?

Secondary Traumatic Stress refers to the experience of PTSD symptoms cause by at least one indirect exposure to traumatic material. There are other terms that express this definition. For example: Compassion fatigue, which is another term to describe secondary stress trauma.

Vicarious Trauma refers to the potential effect of anyone who engages empathetically with survivors of traumatic incidents. This is a theoretical term that focuses more on the cognitive changes that occur following consistent exposure to another person’s traumatic material.

Burnout refers to the emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduce feeling of personal accomplishment. This term is not used to describe the effects of indirect trauma exposure.