For all in-house training enquiries, click here or call us on (02) 8920 3611 to speak to our training team. Download our In-house Training Booklet here

Understanding trauma and abuse

____________________________
 
____________________________
 
____________________________
 
____________________________
 

Testimonials

“I have attended one of your workshops for Health Professionals and found it to be one of the most enlightening and useful trainings I have attended. In particular, I really got an understanding of how to best deal with people in crisis related to past trauma.”

FRANCENE

“The workshop was outstanding - could be used for all practitioners no matter what their discipline. I would hope that you would promote it among psychologists - particularly because the focus was on "abuse" without putting the various types of abuse into boxes.”

ANNE O'BRIEN

“I recommend Blue Knot Foundation's trauma training to every professional, worker of all setting, survivor, and carer. The better trained the earlier the diagnosis and a better chance for survivor recovery.”

PASCALE STENDELL IT Matters

“I would highly recommend Blue Knot Foundation training. The information and research is impressive and relevant; the facilitator knew her stuff, was engaging and provided relevant examples.”

ANONYMOUS

Vicarious Trauma

Vicarious trauma (VT) is ‘the negative transformation in the helper that results (across time) from empathic engagement with trauma survivors and their traumatic material, combined with a commitment or responsibility to help them’ (Pearlman and Caringi, 2009, 202-203). The greater the exposure to traumatic material, the greater the risk of vicarious trauma. People who work in services to which people with traumatic histories present seeking help, or who work with traumatic material are at particular risk. This includes but is not limited to people working in health, mental health, housing, law enforcement, legal, emergency services and family services. 


Vicarious trauma is not a sign of weakness. It is the cost of working with people who have experienced trauma and abuse – of bearing witness and of empathic engagement with those affected. It is important to differentiate vicarious trauma from compassion fatigue and burnout, with which it is often confused, and yet commonly co-exists. While the phenomenon of vicarious trauma is widely acknowledged, it can be challenging to recognise and deal with it. Its dynamics and `ripple effects’ are complex, pervasive and damaging. 


Just as PTSD is perceived as a normal reaction to an abnormal event, VT can be understood as a normal reaction to the stressful experience of multiple exposure to traumatic material (McCann & Pearlman, 1990). According to Saakvitne et al. (2000) the most important element in trauma work is the attention paid to the experience and to the needs of the helper. No-one cannot meet the needs of clients when they are overriding their own.


Anyone working with people affected by trauma or with traumatic material can benefit for understanding more about Vicarious trauma, how to recognise the risks early and manage them.


Blue Knot Foundation delivers a range of professional development training programs to help managers and workers across sectors recognise and mitigate the risks of vicarious trauma. To find more go to Blue Knot's Managing Vicarious Trauma training page. Blue Knot also provides supervision to support teams working in the trauma space, and consultancy to guide organisations around strategies for mitigating vicarious trauma risk.

 

Donate Now!

Partners

Health Direct

 

Head to Health

Testimonials

“Blue Knot Foundation has a key role to play in the building of community capacity in care provision to those who have experienced childhood abuse and trauma in any environment.”

NIALL MULLIGAN Manager, Lifeline Northern Rivers

“I think Blue Knot Foundation is a fantastic support organisation for people who have experienced childhood trauma/abuse, for their families/close friends and for professionals who would like to learn how to more effectively work with these people.”

Psychologist Melbourne

“It's such a beautiful thing that you are doing. Helping people to get through this.”

ANONYMOUS

“It was only last September when I discovered the Blue Knot Foundation website and I will never forget the feeling of support and empathy that I received when I finally made the first phone call to Blue Knot Helpline, which was also the first time I had ever spoken about my abuse.”

STEVEN

"At last there is some sound education and empathetic support for individuals and partners impacted by such gross boundary violations.”

TAMARA

Contact Us

Phone: 02 8920 3611
Email: admin@blueknot.org.au
PO Box 597 Milsons Point NSW 1565
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEST

Blue Knot Helpline
Phone: 1300 657 380
Email: helpline@blueknot.org.au 
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm AEST

For media comment, please contact:
Dr Cathy Kezelman AM
0425 812 197 or ckezelman@blueknot.org.au

For media enquiries, please contact: 
Carolyn Boyd
0425 201 096 or carolyn@fiftyacres.com