Handout for "Trauma: It's Not Just Affecting Our Clients"

Posted: February 24, 2021

Slide 1
Trauma: It’s Not Just
Affecting Our Clients.
Workers Feel It, Too!
Tina Feigal, M.S., Ed.
Parent coach, trainer, speaker, author
Anu Family Services/Center for the Challenging Child
tfeigal@anufs.org
Parenting Mojo on Facebook
www.parentingmojo.com
Present Moment Parenting on Amazon and Audible
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Slide 2
For today’s
time
together
• Handouts have been sent
• If the content becomes too much, feel free to
take a break
• Camera on or off, it’s your choice
• Mute if not speaking
• Question time is built in at the end
• Write down your questions to ask
• Ask questions or comments in the chat,
addressed to only Tina or to Everyone, your
choice
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Slide 3
What we’ll
cover
• Trauma definitions
• Emotional safety
• Burnout, Compassion Fatigue and
Secondary Trauma
• Your safety and self-care
• Working mindfully
• Q & A
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Slide 4
Trauma
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Slide 5
Safety
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Slide 6
Burnout,
Compassion
Fatigue,
Secondary
Trauma
Burnout:
• physical and emotional
depletion from low job
satisfaction
• powerless and overwhelmed at
work
• does not necessarily mean that
our view of the world has been
damaged, or that we have lost
compassion for others.
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Slide 7
Burnout
Can be comparatively easy to resolve.
Improving the situation or changing jobs
can provide relief.
This is not the case for CF and VT. Helpers
can experience them simultaneously.
(Transforming the Pain - Saakvitne & Pearlman, 1996)
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Slide 8
Compassion
Fatigue and
Vicarious
Trauma
CUMULATIVE OVER TIME
EVIDENT IN OUR PERSONAL AND
PROFESSIONAL LIVES
OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD OF
WORKING IN HUMAN SERVICES
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Slide 9
Secondary Trauma
Indirect exposure
to trauma through a
firsthand account or
narrative of
a traumatic event.
Secondary traumatization is
also referred to as
“compassion fatigue”
or
“vicarious traumatization”
(Pearlman and Saakvitne, 1995).
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Slide 10
Contributing
factors
Your life story
• Previous trauma
• Current situation – pandemic
parenting/kids learning from
home, caretaking for your parents
• Emotional vulnerability to big life
changes such as divorce or death
increases with the above.
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Slide 11
Contributing
factors
Stressful working environments
• Often a result of individual compassion
fatigue, burnout and general unhappiness.
• The work itself. Clients are experiencing
chronic crises, have difficulty controlling their
emotions, and/or may not get better.
• Society glamorizes violence and doesn’t
adequately fund efforts to reduce or prevent
it.
• https://www.tendacademy.ca/what-is-compassionfatigue/
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Slide 12
Workplace
strengths
“Who you work for” is a main determinant of employee
wellness.
This includes:
• Access to a supportive, flexible manager who is open
to regular workload assessments to reduce trauma
exposure.
• A manager who encourages ongoing professional
education and who provides timely and good quality
supervision.
• Employees with control over their schedules reported
a higher rate of job satisfaction overall.
• Reducing hours spent working directly with
traumatized individuals was the single most
effective way of reducing VT.
• https://www.tendacademy.ca/what-is-compassion-fatigue/
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Slide 13
How do I know if I
have Secondary
Trauma
Stress?
https://www.tendacademy.ca/what-is-compassionfatigue/
Feelings of:
• isolation
• anxiety
• dissociation
• physical ailments
• sleep disturbances
• confusion
• helplessness
www.acf.hhs.gov › traumatoolkit
› secondary-traumaticstress
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Slide 14
More signs of
Secondary
Trauma
Very similar feelings to
traumatized clients’
Can negatively affect the
workplace and create a
toxic work environment
Difficulty concentrating
Intrusive imagery
Feeling discouraged
about the world
Hopelessness
Exhaustion and
irritability
High attrition (helpers
leaving the field)
Negative outcomes
(dispirited, cynical
workers remaining in the
field, boundary
violations)
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Slide 15
Your own
safety
Sources of our adult safety
• Trusting relationships, both past and present (the memory
of a trusting relationship has great value)
-partners
-spouses
-siblings
-close relatives
-friends
-parents, living or not
-therapists
-co-workers
• Faith beliefs
• Inner safety created by self-care
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Slide 16
Self-care for
social
workers
Mindful moments
Self-attunement
Slowing and calmly noticing your thoughts
Being present to what you’re doing right now
Giving yourself grace when it’s not perfect
Stopping to see the beauty in an interaction or view
Gratitude for small things
Note: Workplaces are not usually set up for these, so to avoid
burnout, we have to commit to doing them ourselves.
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Slide 17
Breathing
awareness
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Slide 18
Physical awareness
Check for muscle tension
• Note your usual tense spots
• Check in to see if they’re relaxed or
tight
• Consciously let them go
• Congratulate yourself for releasing
because you deserve someone to be
noticing your successes
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Slide 19
Focus your
thoughts
What’s happening in your mind?
• Are you present for the task at hand, or off
somewhere else?
• Write down or take a note on your phone of
whatever is taking your attention, so you can
shelve it
• Remind yourself to let go of time pressure –
you can only be in one place at a time
• Gently, without judgement, bring your mind
to the present
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Slide 20
Multi-tasking?
• Sometimes it’s OK.
• You might actually be very efficient and a good multi-tasker
• Avoid multi-tasking all day, as it can wear you down and cause
mistakes
• If you’re noticing that it interferes, focus on one thing
• Put a note up in your workspace: “One thing at a time.”
• Let your peace of mind override “efficiency” – you’ll be more efficient
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Slide 21
Personal support
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Slide 22
Altruism You’re good.
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Slide 23
Small Wonders
When you open up to them, you see them.
• A homeless person you pass gives you a sincere smile
• A client speaks highly of you to her sister
• A child offers to color with you
• Flowers dance in the breeze – take a photo
• You stop for coffee and sit outside, hearing the birds
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Slide 24
Working
mindfully
• Get up every hour
• Take frequent bathroom/stretch breaks
• Chat with a co-worker about the picture on his
desk/screen
• Take time to fill your water bottle, as if it’s as
important as all other tasks
• Get some air
• Eat lunch mindfully on your own or with others,
take your time
• Guard your body and mind as if they’re utterly vital
to your work
Edited from https://www.socialworker.com/featurearticles/
practice/mindfulness-10-lessons-in-self-care-for-social-workers/
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Slide 25
Preappointment
prep
Mindfulness exercise: being
deeply aware of your current
surroundings and inner
condition, accepting it fully
Mantra: “I care for my clients,
and today I will be present with
them without absorbing their
pain.”
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Slide 26
During the
appointment
• Being fully present with whatever is.
• Attune to clients and stay centered yourself.
• Parallel process: be there emotionally as a role
model so clients can be there for their family.
• If fully attuned, you can leave the session knowing
you accomplished what you needed to do.
• Polyvagal theory: posture and non-verbals help the
client feel seen and heard.
• Being honest if you feel stressed or rushed, which is
also good modeling.
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Slide 27
After the
appointment
• Completely switching gears right after hearing of
or witnessing a trauma event is protective of
your brain.
• Research supports this: flashbacks were reduced
in participants who played a non-violent
problem-solving video game after watching a
traumatizing movie.
• This consolidates the memory into long-term
rather than short-term.
• Provider Resilience app allows you to track your
score on releasing trauma.
• Source: Tammy Scheidegger, PhD, Mt. Mary University Associate Professor
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Slide 28
Support for
and from
others
“If you feel burnt out, it means you are not
taking good enough care of yourself”.
• NOT true.
• Can further silence people in pain.
• The biggest contributors to CF are
where you work, your workload, your
working conditions and the amount of
high- quality training you have received
in trauma-related areas.
https://www.tendacademy.ca/what-is-compassionfatigue/
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Slide 29
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Slide 30
Self-Compassion
with Dr. Kristin
Neff
To view later with family and staff
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoqSvla
keSQ&ab_channel=ActionforHappiness
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Slide 31
Questions?
• Tina Feigal, M.S., Ed., Director of Family
Engagement
• Parent coach, trainer, speaker, author
• Anu Family Services/Center for the
Challenging Child
• tfeigal@anufs.org
• Parenting Mojo on Facebook
• www.parentingmojo.com
• Present Moment Parenting on Amazon
and Audible
• Tina Feigal on Youtube
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