Wellness Program: Physical Activity

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Wellness Program: Physical Activity

SOCW Wellness Program: Physical Activity


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SOCW6333 Walden self-care and Wellness program: Physical Activity

Self-care and Wellness Program: Physical Activity

Reflect on work environments you have experienced. Choose one organizational practice that promoted self-care and wellness and one practice that inhibited self-care and wellness. Consider the self-care and vicarious trauma implications of each.

  • Post a brief description of one organizational practice from your experience that promotes self-care and wellness and one practice that inhibits self-care and wellness.
  • Explain the outcome of each experience, then explain the impact these practices had on you personally and professionally. Be specific.
  • Finally, explain how these practices may or may not impact the development or perpetuation of vicarious trauma.


Sansbury, B. S., Graves, K., & Scott, W. (2015). Managing traumatic stress responses among clinicians: Individual and organizational tools for self-care. Trauma, 17(2), 114-122. doi:10.1177/1460408614551978

Morrissette, P. J. (2004). The pain of helping: Psychological injury of helping professionals. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

  • Chapter 7, “Vicarious Traumatization” (previously read in Weeks 2 and 3)

Hernandez, P., Engstrom, D., & Gangsei, D. (2010). Exploring the impact of trauma on therapists: Vicarious resilience and related concepts in training. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 29(1), 67–83.

Steinlin, C., Dölitzsch, C., Kind, N., Fischer, S., Schmeck, K., Fegert, J. M., & Schmid, M. (2017). The influence of sense of coherence, self-care and work satisfaction on secondary traumatic stress and burnout among child and youth residential care workers in Switzerland. Child & Youth Services, 38(2), 159-175. doi:10.1080/0145935X.2017.1297225

SOCW 6333 Walden Self-care and Wellness Program: Physical Activity

TRAUMA Original Article Managing traumatic stress responses among clinicians: Individual and organizational tools for self-care Trauma 2015, Vol. 17(2) 114–122 ! The Author(s) 2014 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/1460408614551978 tra.sagepub.com Brittany S Sansbury1, Kelly Graves2,3 and Wendy Scott2 There is a growing interest in conceptual frameworks related to preventing stress responses among mental health clinicians working with survivors of trauma. The following paper comprehensively compares and contrasts vicarious traumatization with compassion fatigue (i.e. secondary trauma), and it considers how these two traumatic stress responses can lead to professional burnout. It reviews the historical development and empirical support related to the effects of trauma work on clinicians, and it provides practical guidelines for both individuals and organizations to protect clinicians from traumatic stress responses. Keywords Vicarious trauma, burnout, compassion fatigue, clinician self-care Introduction There is growing attention to the prevalence of trauma and its negative consequences. A myriad of research studies have shown that trauma can chronically and pervasively impact multiple developmental areas, including social, cognitive, psychological, and biological development across the lifespan.1–3 Recent research has documented that trauma exposure can impact at the DNA level, as children who were exposed to trauma showed signs of biological aging (‘‘wear and tear’’) on DNA sequences called telomeres, which are responsible for aging and progression of disease states.4,5 In addition, the financial costs of childhood trauma are astronomical-approximately $4379 per incident2 and $103.8 billion per year in the United States.6 If one expands statistics to both human-made and natural disasters, authors elaborate that over nine million deaths and 7000 traumas occurred around the world between 1951 and 2000.7 Although the field has been looking intensively at the impact of trauma on clients, we know less as a field about the impact of trauma-specific treatment on the ‘‘helpers’’. As many as 24 million or 8% of US residents will experience a traumatic stress response during their lives; but the rate is an estimated 15%8 to 50%,9 potentially nearly six times higher, among mental health workers. Traumatic exposure responses, in general, have been referred to as the ways in which the ‘‘world looks and feels like a different place to you as a result of your doing your work’’.10 Trauma work demands that clinicians are astutely aware of the core principles of trauma-informed care, namely safety, empowerment, trust, collaboration, and choice.11 Every action that a clinician takes must be consistent with these core principles as trauma-informed treatment has been shown to be more beneficial than the usual standard of care. Given the intensity of traumaspecific treatment, clinicians also must maintain self-care practices to manage their own traumatic stress responses. The next section compares and contrasts vicarious traumatization with compassion fatigue (i.e. secondary trauma). 1 University of Memphis Institute on Disability, University of Memphis, TN, USA 2 Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness, North Carolina A&T State University, NC, USA 3 Department of Human Development and Services, North Carolina A & T State University, NC, USA Corresponding author: Brittany S Sansbury, The University of Memphis Institute on Disability, Ball Hall 100, Memphis, TN 38152 USA. Email: [email protected] Sansbury et al. 115 Vicarious traumatization Compassion fatigue In the 1990s, Pearlman and colleagues defined vicarious traumatization as ‘‘the transformation that occurs within the therapist (or other trauma worker) as a result of empathic engagement with clients’ trauma experiences and their sequelae’’.12 The transformation occurs when managing trauma among clients results in altered memory systems and cognitive schemas associated with five need areas: safety, dependency or trust, power, esteem, and intimacy.13 When these disruptions occur, clinicians demonstrate increased vulnerability or awareness of how fragile life can be and can become suspicious or distrusting of others. These experiences can prompt unexplainable changes in affect, like anger or sadness, which can complicate how an individual interacts with both colleagues in the work environment as well as in interactions within their personal lives.14 The incidence and severity of clinician symptomology depends on how salient the need area is in his or her life.11 For example, a person who struggles with trust, is more likely to relive reports from a client about being betrayed or violated in family incest. These need areas also can be particularly salient for clinicians who have their own traumatic histories.12 More recent theory and research broadens the concept of vicarious traumatization to include countertransference, empathy, and emotional contagion.14 Related to countertransference, clinicians who fail to contain reactions to client emotion are susceptible to changes in their own belief systems,14,15 reduced awareness, and increased defensiveness. Related to empathy, the ability to connect with client suffering helps the clients, but also increases vicarious trauma if clinicians cannot ‘‘manage’’ the empathic process.14 Finally, emotional contagion involves unconsciously reliving the trauma of a client, beyond simply attempting to understand it with empathy. Older studies support the ‘‘catching’’ of depression16 and anxiety symptoms by clinicians who seek to mimic or parallel clients’ affect.17 The capacity to put oneself in the emotional world of others can assist a trauma worker in learning about them. Nonetheless, emotional contagion is most dangerous when a lack of self-awareness gives way to an unconscious and prolonged shift from personal views to clients’ traumatic affect. Interviews with trauma clinicians confirm several life areas impacted by vicarious traumatization such as seeing the world in a negative way, feeling unsafe, reduced sense-of-self, reduced connection to work, less interest in others,

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