Vicarious Trauma

Vicarious trauma is a term often associated with the people who see and hear trauma in their working lives (emergency services, armed forces, health care providers etc).

It refers to “second hand traumatisation” which sounds awful but does explain it quite succinctly. So we can feel traumatised / experience trauma symptoms / develop our own trauma as a result of bearing witness to other peoples trauma. Another way of looking at it, is thinking of the ripples that spread when we drop a pebble into a pond.

People who experience vicarious trauma (eg the jobs mentioned earlier, partners of women who have had traumatic births, partners or family members of people with PTSD etc) again typically deny their own pain and experience and feel high levels of shame for feeling “traumatised” and often avoid getting appropriate help.

Feeling the impact of trauma isn’t your fault and you distress (whatever it looks and feels like) is valid.

With over 20 years experience of working with people who have experienced trauma I have developed expertise in a number of psychological therapy approaches including EMDR, Compassion Focused Therapy and Schema Therapy and I bring my own non-judgmental style of therapy to those wishing to work through these issues online.


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