Neurobiology of Self Care Managing the impact of working with traumatised children and young people.

January 19, 2021 - January 19, 2021

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This workshop explores the impact of working with traumatised children and young people and considers how our understanding of the neurobiology of trauma can inform our approach to looking after ourselves. Self-care can be a term that conjures negative images or does not seem relevant to the ‘real work’ of professionals.  However, it is critical to ensuring our own wellbeing as well as our capacity to support the children, young people and families with whom we work.


In these times where working from home is become a requirement, the blurring of lines between home and work is even more predominant. Exploring ways to keep the boundaries of self-care in a world where the personal and the professional intersect extensively is critical for all professionals in the helping professions.


Vicarious Trauma is a psychological term used to refer to changes in a person that can occur when they are repeatedly exposed to traumatic material (Morrison, 2007) within the context of their work.


The experience of vicarious trauma can lead to a transformation in an individual’s inner experiences, core beliefs, and cognitive schema as well as a disruption in their view of self, others and the world.


There are a number of factors – personal, professional and organizational – which contribute to the risk of experiencing vicarious trauma. Not everyone who works with traumatised children, young people and their families will experience vicarious trauma. However, all of us have the potential to be vicariously traumatized.


Preventing vicarious trauma is grounded in a range of strategies and activities that include self-care.  Prevention is definitely better than needing to manage or repair the outcomes of vicarious trauma.  These require a holistic response which address the layers of impact.


The neurobiology of self care helps us to conceptualise not only the neurobiological components of vicarious trauma, but how we can utilize our understanding to ensure our own wellbeing in the midst of this challenging work.


Learn more here.

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