Vicarious Trauma: Recognizing and Responding

The effects of traumatization are becoming better understood  and accepted as real. Vicarious or Secondary Trauma is equally potent in its impact, but much less understood and accepted.

Police, Firefighter, Paramedics, as well as Counsellors, Social Welfare Workers, even members of the judicious process, judges lawyers, and jury members are all witnesses to trauma and can be impacted  with vicarious trauma.


This valuable workshop uses a variety of presentation formats to communicate and engage participants to develop both an individual and an organizational well-being plan that is practical and sustainable.


Goals and Objectives

  • To identify the phenomenon of vicarious traumatization
  • To give opportunity for participants to personally assess their well-being and their burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious tramatization
  • To give opportunity for participants to evaluate their current self-care strategies
  • To help participants self-identify personal internal liabilities toward vicarious trauma
  • To help participants and managers plan a sustainable self-care and organizational plan to prevent and/or reduce V.C.



Compassion Fatigue: Recognizing and Responding

Staff that work with clientele with have high and chronic support needs operate in a context with a unique set of challenges. When these unique challenges aren't recognized and proactively managed the results are inevitable and costly to the organization: absenteeism, high turnover,, low staff morale and reduced effectiveness to name a few.


Family members caring for loved ones with alzheimers, dementia, intellectual or physical disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders also are vulnerable to Compassion fatigue.

Frequently this situation is complicated by emotions or guilt over resentment that wells up inside .

The event can be tailors for care-givers of family members of professional helpers . Optionally, the workshop can focus of organizational factors, dynamics and strategies to reduce compassion fatigue.

This one-day event will leave participants refreshed and equipped with new self-care and renewal resources..






Church Consultation


When churches work well it is a beautiful thing! However a variety of forces, both internal and external can create challenges for congregations. Often it takes an outsider's perspective to see and name the problematic dynamics accurately so positive and constructive change can be set in motion.


Dr. Russell uses systemic family systems theory as a starting place to work with congregational stakeholders to highlight both the strengths and resources of a local body, but also to identify the dynamics that are impairing the growth and wholeness and functionality of the congregation. This approach is well-anchored in the Apostle Paul's words to the church in Corinth in 1Cor. 12.




Mental Health Awareness

The numbers are compelling! One is four of us will suffer from mental illness at some point in our lives. All of us are impacted directly or indirectly by mental illness whether through family, friends, colleagues or peers at school.

Despite this prevalence organizations frequently are far behind in responding constructively to individuals within with mental illness and to individuals that the organization comes in contact with.


Local churches have benefited and valued short versions of this presentation. Businesses, schools, and human service organizations also benefit from this workshop to build awareness at a practical level but more crucially to identify strategies to become part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

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SPeaking and Training Specialties

Dr. Don Russell, Professional Speaker, Therapist, & Trainer

Inspiring Hope, Flourishing & Empowerment