1st Edition

Reducing Secondary Traumatic Stress Skills for Sustaining a Career in the Helping Professions

By Brian C. Miller Copyright 2022
    206 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    206 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Reducing Secondary Traumatic Stress presents a model for supporting emotional well-being in workers who are exposed to the effects of secondary trauma. The book provides helping professionals with a portfolio of skills that supports emotion regulation and recovery from secondary trauma exposure and also that enhances the experience of the helping encounter. Each chapter presents evidence-informed skills that allow readers to regulate distressing emotions and to foster increased empathy for those suffering from trauma. Reducing Secondary Traumatic Stress goes beyond the usual discussion of burnout to talk in specific terms about what we do about the very real stress that is produced by this work.

    About the Author


    Foreword by Françoise Mathieu

    Section I: Where We Begin: The Ordinary and Familiar World

    Chapter One: Accepting the Challenge

    Section II: Leaving the Ordinary World: Our Quest Begins 

    Chapter Two: Entering the Woods at the Darkest PlaceExperiential Engagement

    Chapter Three: Reducing Rumination: Getting Free from the Ghosts that Follow

    Chapter Four: Stories of the Quest: The Antecedent Narrative: Conscious Narrative: Telling Our Story

    Chapter Five: Point of Contact: The Concurrent Narrative

    Chapter Six: Stories Around the Fire: The Consolidation Narrative

    Section III: Returning with the Elixir

    Chapter Seven: Making the Work Easier: Reducing Emotional Labor

    Chapter Eight: Breathing Lessons Skills for Activating Parasympathetic Recovery

    Chapter Nine: CE-CERT Echoes: Creating Synergy Between the CE-CERT Skills



    Brian C. Miller, PhD, has experience in a variety of behavioral health direct practice, clinical leadership, and policy roles. He holds a PhD from Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio.

    "Just what the trauma field needed at just the right time. This book is 100% Brian Miller—clever, wise, articulate, and full of sage and nuanced advice for addressing secondary traumatic stress symptoms in real time. The model he offers is erudite, empowering, and hopeful. If I were curating a greatest hits list in professional literature, this would be top of the charts! I recommend a copy for yourself and another to share with students, supervisees, and colleagues."
    Ginny Sprang, PhD, professor of psychiatry, University of Kentucky, and executive director, Center on Trauma and Children

    "Reducing Secondary Traumatic Stress addresses one of the most pressing and currently unmet needs in the trauma field—the sustained wellness of providers. Drawing from personal stories, relatable examples, and empirical evidence, Dr. Miller provides concrete, practical strategies that anyone can add to their own practice. The importance of evidence-informed, effective strategies to address secondary trauma cannot be overstated, which is why I recommend this book and the CE-CERT model to anyone doing trauma work."
    Megan Clarke, MPH, National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, Duke University Medical Center

    "In Reducing Secondary Traumatic Stress, Miller has synthesized and distilled research from a wide range of fields to provide a roadmap for trauma-affected professionals to not just sustain their careers but to thrive in them! Going beyond the usual focus on self-care and work–life balance, Miller’s CE-CERT model provides a discrete set of concrete skills and practices that empower professionals to consciously and systematically transform the risk of trauma work into a truly rewarding and affirming experience."
    Brian E. Bride, PhD, MSW, MPH,  former editor-in-chief of Traumatology and Distinguished University Professor and director of the School of Social Work at Georgia State University