CONSULTATION FOR THERAPISTS
"In the role of witness to acts of violence, the therapist feels, at times, overwhelmed and experiences, to a lesser degree, the same terror, rage and despair as the client"
Help for the helper
As psychotherapists, we often hear detailed stories of extreme human suffering from our clients. We observe our clients' fear, helplessness, and horror as they recount the unspeakable traumatic experiences that they have survived. Our craft requires us to immerse ourselves empathically with the experiences of our clients. These occupational duties may actually cause therapists psychological symptoms that parallel PTSD, a condition known as vicarious traumatization or secondary traumatization. A therapist's likelihood of developing vicarious trauma increases if you have a personal history of trauma, high job stress and large caseload (most interns), or internal/external barriers to asking for and accepting comfort, help, and counsel.
Confronting Vicarious Trauma
Vicarious trauma can impact your professional performance, personal life, and your physical and emotional health by manifesting in some of the following ways:
- Avoidance of talking or thinking about clients' traumatic stories- almost being numb to them.
- Having difficulty identifying or talking about your own feelings.
- Free floating anger or irritation.
- Being in a persistent state of arousal (startling easily/being jumpy).
- Losing sleep over clients (difficulty falling asleep/staying asleep).
- Dreaming about clients' traumatic experiences.
- Diminished joy toward things you once enjoyed.
- Feeling trapped by your work as a therapist.
- Intrusive thoughts of clients with especially severe trauma histories.
- Feelings of hopelessness associated with your work with trauma survivors.
Supporting you in your work with clients
I provide clinical consultation for licensed and pre-licensed psychotherapists focused on effectively treating trauma survivors while preventing and managing vicarious trauma. Case consultation is personal, exploratory, and non-judgemental. I strive to create a safe space in consultation for you to speak honestly about the work you do in a supportive, contained setting. Additionally, I can assist you in broadening your understanding of trauma and strengthening your skills in working with trauma survivors.
Consultation may occur weekly, monthly, or scheduled based on your individual needs. All consultation takes place online via telehealth by SimplePractice.