Working with trauma: What about us?
What if we’re not just tired?
What if it’s our souls that are exhausted?
The kind of tired that sleep won’t remedy.
You see, when the world is in crisis (and it is),
your soul becomes weary with the weight of collective grief….
- Donna Ashworth, from History Will Remember
This is one of a number of poems by Donna Ashworth on themes around the pandemic, from her book History Will Remember. These words really capture some of the exhaustion that many therapists, frontline workers, and those who support others are feeling. We hear it every day in the therapy room and with our supervisees. Many are exhausted.
Plus, it’s not just that our jobs are demanding and tiring because we’re supporting others who are finding life and the world difficult, but we’re expected to do this whilst we also deal with the same issues ourselves. Add into that the ever-growing number of people needing support, working from home and working remotely for 18 months or more and you’ve a recipe for exhaustion!
If you work with trauma, and who doesn’t as a therapist, then you’ll recognise “burnout”, “vicarious trauma”, “compassion fatigue” as key concepts…. You might even be wondering if that’s the path you’re on?
How can we protect ourselves, or the people that we employ or who volunteer, from what are very real challenges when working with trauma, and traumatised individuals? We’re constantly told to practice self-care…but do we walk the walk? And what if we are and it’s still not enough?
In this new course we’ll take a practical look at the difficulties and what we can do to help keep ourselves healthy and functioning, so that we enjoy our work more! It will cover:
- burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma
- why self-care often isn’t enough
- the impact of the pandemic and remote working
- the neurophysiology of empathy
- assess your needs and devise your own well-being plan
Hosted by Lynsey Lowe
Lynsey Lowe is a BACP accredited therapist with extensive experience of working with survivors of childhood abuse. Sally French was a sexual offences specialist lawyer who worked for the CPS for 25 years. She is now a UKCP accredited therapist. Lynsey and Sally both enjoy training and working together to aid survivors and therapists.