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Trauma  |  Vicarious Trauma

Vicarious trauma is inherent to humanitarian work. Humanitarian workers in many roles regularly hear distressing stories, and witness violence, poverty and disaster. This second-hand exposure to suffering places them at high risk of experiencing secondary stress responses. The resources in this section explain what vicarious trauma is and explore coping strategies for dealing with it.

Vicarious Trauma
Understanding and Addressing Vicarious Trauma (Certificate Course)

Humanitarian workers often assist people who have been victimized. They work in and with communities that have been devastated by natural forces or conflict. As a result of all these things, humanitarian workers are likely to experience lasting psychological and spiritual changes in the way that they see themselves and the world. This training module explores some of the strategies that can help you recognize, reduce, and transform the negative changes that come from vicarious trauma in your life.

To download  the PDF resources below, select and click on the language of your choice.

PDF  English  |  Arabic
Vicarious Trauma: What Can Managers Do? (Handout)

Managers can take many steps to help lessen the impact of vicarious trauma on staff they are supervising. This brief handout offers practical suggestions for organizations and for managers.

PDF  English  |  French
Vicarious Trauma (Handout)

This brief handout provides an overview of the key points within the Vicarious Trauma Module.

PDF  English  |  French  |  Japanese  |  Spanish
Understanding and Addressing Vicarious Trauma: Reflection Questions Workbook

This document is designed to be a companion to the VT module and may be used for journaling or discussion groups.  This PDF includes all of the reflection questions discussed within the VT module, with space to make personal notes.

PDF  English
What Is Vicarious Trauma?

Vicarious Trauma expert, Dr. Laurie Pearlman, explains the basics about vicarious trauma in this video.

Transforming Vicarious Trauma

Vicarious Transformation is the process in which we intentionally seek to transform our Vicarious Trauma in a positive way. How do we do this? In this video, Dr. Laurie Pearlman offers three strategies for this process. 

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