As you have become well aware, working with survivors of trauma will place you at risk for vicarious trauma. Trauma can occur individually or en masse due to a natural or human-made event. The news is filled with traumatic stories of refugees, asylum seekers, victims of sex trafficking, witnesses of mass shootings, and survivors of natural disasters. As mass trauma unfolds, social workers are asked to step in and provide both immediate and long-term support.
To prepare: Identify a current event in the national or international news related to a mass experience of trauma.
- Describe the current event and the types of trauma survivors with whom a social work may practice.
- Explain what you, as a social worker, would do to prevent or minimize risk of vicarious trauma when working with this population.
- Explain how an organization overseeing the work can contribute to preventative measures.