Vicarious Traumatization of the Helping Professional

Vicarious traumatization refers to the cumulative transformative effect on helpers working with hurting people. Anyone working with people experiencing personal pain is vulnerable. Examples include: Counselors, social workers, pastors, psychologists, psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, hospice workers, teachers, emergency workers, police officers and firefighters.

Being exposed to human pain and suffering is unavoidable when working in a helping profession. Often it is this exposure that can lead to questioning one's ability to be an effective helper, questioning one's belief and trust in others, questioning one's core spiritual beliefs, and ultimately, burnout. Untreated, vicarious traumatization can lead to anxiety and/or depression which will negatively affect the helper's quality of life and relationships. For more information:

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