The Houston-Galveston Trauma Institute

Vicarious Trauma Course

At Houston-Galveston Trauma Institute, it is an important goal of the curriculum, and our mission, to offer support and education about the vicarious trauma on clinicians and others working with traumatized populations. Traumatic stress on the worker is a real and powerful complication of working with persons who have suffered in complex ways, and this must be addressed in order to maintain a stable staff/workforce.
What happens to the caregiver:
  • You can feel what they feel: hopeless, sad, depressed
  • You can think as they think: the world is not safe, become suspicious
  • You can not sleep, or sleep too much
  • You can remember their stories when you don’t want to
  • You can overreact to everyday things
  • You can be overprotective of your own family
  • You can feel tired, burned, angry, impatient with family
  • You can say or do things that don’t seem like you
  • You can find yourself daydreaming or going away
  • You can have nightmares or fitful sleep
  • You can find that you don’t take good care of yourself

"When we open our hearts to hear someone's story of devastation and betrayal... we are changed."
Pearlman and Saakvitne

This workshop led by Rosalie Hyde and Naomi Rosborough offers restorative encounters to first responders by addressing and transforming traumatic stress related to working with and knowing the most tragic of human experiences. The workshop provides participants with group experiences that add to their personal knowledge and understanding of self care to better sustain themselves throughout their professional life. The challenge to the professional is to recognize the central role and traumatic impact their work has on job satisfaction, mental and physical health, professional practice and the capacity to both work and play. Vicarious trauma is the human consequence of knowing, caring and facing the realities of how we hurt and betray one another and society. This workshop is based on the groundbreaking work of Laurie Anne Pearlman, PhD, and her colleague Karen Saakvitne, PhD. Rosalie and Naomi have been in consultation with Dr. Pearlman for many years.

The workshop covers:

  • Understanding the nature of vicarious traumatization and how the self is affected
  • Assessment and recognition of the personal experience of vicarious trauma in participants using tests and questionnaires
  • Strategies for transforming traumatic stress
  • Strategies for first responders to maintain a long-term commitment to self care and management of work-related traumatic stress

"At best, treating trauma is hard work; at worst, it can be traumatic. All of us who do this work need all the help we can get."
Jon Allen, MD

This workshop is both theoretical and experiential. Healing in community has been shown to be the most effective way of addressing common pain and trauma. In the spirit of renewal, we attempt to help workers begin to understand and explore their own vicarious trauma and to recognize it in their colleagues. The workshop is also offered in one- and two-day retreats.

For more information please call HGTI or email Rosalie at ObscureRosalie.