Source: Image by Qu Ji from Pixabay Most people have heard of the term vicarious trauma , relating to a concept that is often defined broadly in describing secondary trauma experienced by people who work with traumatized individuals. Yet many people who do not work directly within that population may nonetheless experience a disquieting sense of unease, anxiety , or even physical symptoms that do not appear to be directly tied to present life circumstances. But are they? And without any training or experience, how do we cope? Various Forms of Vicarious Trauma Dana C. Branson (2019) notes that vicarious trauma (VT) is often used to refer to the "unique, negative, and accumulative changes" that may impact clinicians engaged in empathetic client relationships.[i] Branson notes that within this context, characteristics and physical symptoms may include unwelcome thoughts or imagery induced by client disclosures, nightmares , absenteeism, social isolation , negative coping skills, hyperarousal to safety concerns, avoidance of physical intimacy , and many others. Within some professions, vicarious trauma might be more pronounced, such as within law enforcement or the medical community, where employees are frequently exposed to human suffering. Yet research reveals that vicarious trauma actually impacts a much broader community of individuals…. Read full this story
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