Self-help for Trauma Therapists : A Practitioner's Guide book cover
1st Edition

Self-help for Trauma Therapists
A Practitioner's Guide

ISBN 9781138898288
Published July 27, 2016 by Routledge
194 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

For those offering trauma-informed care, it can be difficult to maintain wellbeing and a balanced, positive outlook when the nature of their job requires frequent engagement with traumatic disclosures. Self-help for Trauma Therapists: A Practitioner’s Guide intends to assist human service workers- such as those working as therapists, social workers and counsellors- to maintain their self- care and professional effectiveness when working in fields where stress and trauma play a key factor in their everyday working lives.

Adopting a comprehensive, multi-layered approach to self-care based, the book grounds its exploration of practice through researched accounts with experience professionals. Including accounts from clinical psychologists, therapists, counsellors, social workers and the friends and family of people in these professions, this book creates a narrative on stress and trauma from the human service worker perspective. Interwoven with these stories of practice, the author includes reflections on her own experiences in practice over the past 25 years with trauma survivors. With discussions on risk and resilience, compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatisation, readers are introduced to the theories and practical applications of developing a professional model for maintaining wellbeing and self-care in their work.

Self-help for Trauma Therapists: A Practitioner’s Guide is the first book of its kind to be written solely for human service workers. It is essential reading for beginning and more advanced practitioners who are involved in working with trauma and recovery and will also be of interest to supporters of those working in the helping professions.

Table of Contents

1. What are Stress and Trauma and How do They Impact?

2. Discovering What Builds Resilience in Trauma Therapists: Findings from Earlier Research

3. Developing New Meanings for Practice: Back from the Edge of the World

4. Relationships and How Vicarious Traumatization can Impact on Your Significant Others

5. Clinical Supervision for Trauma Therapists: A Liminal and Dialogic Space for Reflection and Self-care

6. Vicarious Traumatisation: An Organisational Perspective

7. Critical Incident Stress Management: Self-care in the Workplace

8. The Search for Self and the Search Beyond Self: The Role of Connection to Spirituality, Nature and Community

9. Career Themes in the Lives of Trauma Therapists: Thriving and Diversifying

10. Conclusion and Your Self-care Plan: Next Steps

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Margaret Pack is Associate Professor of Social Work and Deputy Head of School, Allied Health Australian Catholic University, Sydney, Australia. Her research interests include trauma and stress, theories of clinician self-care and social workers' theories for practice. She has a strong interest and training in Gestalt psychotherapy. She has worked in a national sexual abuse trauma centre with survivors of sexual abuse trauma as a specialist case manager. Her career has included practice as a mental health social worker, where she has developed new services and managed staff as a team leader. Originally from New Zealand, she has coordinated a national post graduate programme at Victoria University of Wellington and led a team of social work academics at Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory.



In this wonderful book Margaret Pack combines a rich therapeutic perspective with sound research in developing practice guidelines for managing trauma. It should prove to be a valuable resource for therapists and researchers alike.

Tony Ward, Professor, School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Working with people who have suffered trauma can tax the resources of even the most experienced practitioner. With great understanding and sensitivity Margaret Pack reviews how working with trauma can affect practitioners personally and socially before then taking a practical and informed look at how self-care, good supervision and a supportive organisation can help the professional remain robust, responsive and emotionally available. The book provides the reader with a thoughtful, expert and caring guide to working well and staying well when providing support and treatment for those who have suffered the trauma of violence, abuse and neglect.

David Howe, Emeritus Professor, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK