Email07958 458189Training, Coaching & Counselling in Birmingham, Solihull, Stratford-Upon-Avon & Warwick

Trauma and who is affected

Trauma ripple effect image
  • When caregivers, rescue workers or family membersattend to someone with post-traumatic stress disorder who has suffered a horrible experience, a number of them develop “secondary” PTSD, without themselves having witnessed the traumatic event.
  • Stories of trauma, it seems, can becomeetched into memory as if they were the hearer’s own experiences. This memory transfer may occur because the brain regions that process real and imagined experiences overlap considerably.
  • The more that caregivers or family membersempathize with a victim and the less able they are to maintain emotional distance, the more likely it is that they will experience secondary trauma.

What is vicarious trauma

  • When caregivers, rescue workers or family members attend to someone with post-traumatic stress disorder who has suffered a horrible experience, a number of them develop “secondary” PTSD, without themselves having witnessed the traumatic event.
  • Stories of trauma, it seems, can become etched into memory as if they were the hearer’s own experiences. This memory transfer may occur because the brain regions that process real and imagined experiences overlap considerably.
  • The more that caregivers or family members empathize with a victim and the less able they are to maintain emotional distance, the more likely it is that they will experience secondary trauma.
  • Originally this term was applied to mental health professionals and first responders who have been involved in emergencies, critical incidents or severe acts of crime. The term is now more widely applied to include professionals exposed to traumatic images and sounds
  • We are impacted by bearing witness to the pain, fear and terror that trauma victims have endured. The Vicarious hallmark is a significant shift in a person’s perceived world view, our sense of safety, justice and hope.

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