Nurturing Resilience: Strategies to Support Vicarious Trauma

Team TICS
January 30, 2024

Working in professions that involve supporting individuals who have experienced trauma can take a toll on our mental health. Vicarious trauma is a real concern for those in these fields, and it's crucial to prioritise self-care. In this blog post, we'll explore three valuable tips from our associates here at TICS (Trauma Informed Consultancy Services) on minimising the impact of vicarious trauma. Please comment with what helps you too! 

1. Keeping a Visual Diary - Andrea's Insight:

Andrea, a seasoned clinician at TICS, emphasises the power of visual expression in understanding and managing the complexities of vicarious trauma. Through the use of a visual diary, she has found a powerful tool for reflection, processing, and maintaining ethical boundaries.

In her own words,

"Drawings can be quite telling and can be a super efficient way to see the complexity of what it means to be traumatised or retraumatised. It's essential to recognise these internal processes, especially if you have yet to notice what is going on within yourself."

The visual diary serves as a personal resource, allowing clinicians like Andrea to stay on top of their emotions and, ultimately, better care for themselves both at work and at home. Could a diary like this work for you? 

2. Connecting with Nature - Steph's Perspective:

Steph, another dedicated associate at TICS and social worker, advocates for the therapeutic benefits of nature in combating vicarious trauma. She discovered during her research for a self-care book that spending time outdoors can lower cortisol levels. Combining this with art and creativity, as highlighted by Andrea, Steph strives to incorporate beauty into each day, whether it's through the aesthetic of nature or personal choices like colorful clothing and foods.

Steph also recognises the importance of humour in life, steering clear of sarcasm but embracing a light-hearted approach. She shares her successful strategy of using humour to diffuse tension with her teens, chatting to them through the family dog, Lola. This practice not only brings joy but also serves as a creative way to manage emotional labour, creating a clear boundary between work and personal life. Are there any beautiful places you like to go? Feel free to share an image! 

3. Prioritising Mid-Week Joy - Amelia's Approach:

Amelia, another valued member of the TICS team, emphasises the significance of integrating joy into her working week. Acknowledging the long hours and emotional demands of the job, Amelia recommends prioritising mid-week activities for relaxation. Whether it is utilising cinema passes or going for a swim, incorporating enjoyable activities midweek helps draw a clear line between the emotional labour of work and personal well-being. Have you found any great offers or discounts for things like cinema visits? If so, please do share… 

These insightful strategies from TICS associates Andrea, Steph, and Amelia offer valuable guidance for minimising the impact of vicarious trauma. From maintaining a visual diary for self-reflection to connecting with nature and prioritising joy, these practices contribute to a resilient and well-balanced approach in professions where working with those experiencing trauma and/or supporting trauma survivors is a daily commitment. By implementing these strategies, individuals in these roles can better navigate the challenges of their work while safeguarding their own mental and emotional well-being. 

Please reach out to us with what you try! 

If you need any help and support or just a general chat about ‘all things Trauma Informed’, please get in touch with Lyndsay, our Working Together Lead at lyndsay@ticservicesltd.com and our team will support you in your journey.

TICS LTD © Copyright 2024 TICS is a trading name of Trauma Informed Consultancy Services LTD - Registereed Co 14213958 in England and Wales
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