Secondary Trauma?

waves crashing on rocks

I’m hearing the term “secondary trauma” misused frequently. Let’s learn what the different kinds of trauma are.

Trauma is an experience that leaves a negative impact on a person. This is usually caused by a single event (such as, but not limited to: car accident, rape, mugging, natural disaster, or neighborhood violence).

Secondary trauma is what happens to a person in the processing of that event. For example: a person is raped and knows the rapist. They press charges and, as have to give physical evidence, be questioned by police and lawyers, and appear in court facing their abuser. Each step may increase the trauma.

Vicarious trauma is the sort of burn out that trauma therapists, CPS workers, police, or others may endure from working with cases of trauma. It is the strain of carrying another person’s burden. This can be offset by learning to compartmentalize the information they take in as belonging to others.

I will be holding an upcoming webinar on managing vicarious trauma. Please contact me with your interest at autumn@clearmindgroup.com.

Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter & Facebook.