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Managing Vicarious Traumatization Self-Care Chapter 4


ManagingVicarious Traumatization Self-Care


Helpingtraumatized individuals brings changes on the helper. Secondarytraumatic stress may emerge as a result of working with people whohas been affected by traumatic situations. Also, clergy burnouthappens when a helper’s stress and emotions accumulate withoutbeing dealt with. This stress may be as a result of being overcommitted and thus overworking. The clergy burnout is composed ofemotional exhaustion, reduced personal accomplishment, anddepersonalization. In support of the author’s argument, one tendsto become like the people he is surrounded by or the environment thusbeing always in the company of traumatized people may lead tocarrying their burden and acquiring some of their stress.

Vicarioustraumatization is the transformation that the helper goes throughbecause of thoughtful engagement and carrying the load of thetraumatized people. The likelihood of being affected by traumabecause of supporting the victims may result in the presence oftrauma history. Being exposed to the traumatic situation may alterwhat we believe about us and also the universe. Spiritually, we maybecome pessimistic and recognize the difficulty of change. Vicarioustraumatization occurs after a period and may show in anger or griefwhich harness as we listen to trauma incidences more. Your identitycan change the world view and personal feelings. Moreover, ourbeliefs about trust, intimacy, esteem and control can also change. One pay not think much about their decision thus poor judgment. Theremay be physical body effects and signs of the trauma such as muscleand joint tension and loss of appetite. Being aware of vicarioustrauma is a good way to protect you against it and attend to thesigns if they come up.


Accordingto the author, being in a community can help feel secure. The way inwhich we connect with other people at an early age determines howother people give the response to us. It is challenging for peoplewho have had their attachments tampered with to establishrelationships which are a two-way process and beneficial. Thedeterminants of the ability to have secure attachment are nurture,availability, protection, understanding, and dependability. When acommunity shows its capability to offer protection in times of andassure that help is available, the affected victims will feel safe.Also when the faith community natures, show that they can be dependedon and understand the victims creates trust. The author’s point ofview is crucial to any community that intends to help affected peoplerecover, and it can lead to fast results.

Thefeeling of belongingness to a given community by an individual, theview that victims are wanted can serve as a support when one in need.It is the role of the community to strengthen victim connections withGod. There is the relationship between safety and trust. If thetrauma victims are not safe, they cannot be able to trust. Thecommunity has to help members feel safe for them to learn how totrust.

Creatingan environment that the victims can open up without hiding some ofthe experiences is important. Collaboration with fellow members ofpastoral counseling ensures that you do not miss the many ways inwhich the entire community can be healing to many, and also itremoves the risk of burnout. Collaborating in the congregation careis vital as it helps know the met and unmet needs of the members.Spirituality is part of the faith community as they help restore thedamaged spirits. Trauma survivors should be held accountable fortheir actions for then to him. During community interventions,introducing worship to the victims is essential in connecting withGod.


Day,Jackson H., et al, Risking Connection in Faith Communities. ATraining Curriculum for Faith Leaders Supporting Trauma Survivors.Sidran Institute Press. Baltimore. www.sidran.org. 2006.