Vicarious Trauma Training

“We are talking about the ways in which the world looks and feels like a different place to you as a result of you doing your work… ….and the transformation that takes place within us as a result of exposure to the suffering of other living beings.”

Laura van Dernoot Lipsky
Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others

What is Vicarious Trauma?

  • An inevitable part of any role that involves witnessing or working with the impacts of other people’s pain
  • Changes the way we see ourselves, the work and our world
  • Not about personal weakness or a lack of resilience
  • Can be safely managed on an individual level through targeted self care and self awareness
  • Can be safely managed on a team and organisational level by creating a culture of support and vigilance using tactics such as supervision, monitoring, debriefs and boundary setting

What I do

I facilitate participatory learning workshops online and via Zoom where midwives and other frontline workers increase their knowledge of Vicarious Trauma, build understanding and create plans to manage the impact of it on a personal and team level.

One Day Training (in Person)

“Bearing Witness: Midwifery, Vicarious Trauma and You

I developed an immersive and interactive one-day Vicarious Trauma Awareness workshop specifically for midwives, midwifery students and other birth workers.

The training workshop includes:

  • Historical context, clinical definitions and practical examples
  • Identifying impacts of the work in brain, mind and body
  • Monitoring skills for everyday management
  • Identifying, managing and limiting your impacts
  • The cycle of birth trauma, midwifery and VT
  • Action plans for organisational and individual commitments
  • Practical skills for creating (and maintaining!) self care plans

Includes takeaway resources and printed materials, and a three month personalised follow up.

3 hour Awareness Workshop (via Zoom)

“Introduction to Vicarious Trauma for Midwives

Working via Zoom to create a safe and comfortable environment to share, this online session includes a pre-session self-guided reflection activity for all participants, with live presentation as well as discussion and smaller breakout convsersations covering

  • Introductory overview of VT?
  • How does VT affect our brain, mind and body?
  • What do we need to notice and address it?
  • The cycle of birth trauma, midwifery and VT
  • How does this look for you and what can you do about it?
  • Action planning for better organisational support

Includes takeaway resources and printed materials.

This content has been delivered to over a hundred practicing midwives and student participants in hospitals, birth centres, Community Midwifery teams, universities, health boards and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) branches, including for midwives and midwifery students at:

  • Swansea University
  • Swansea Bay University Health Board
  • Cardiff & Vale University Health Board
  • Powys Teaching Health Board
  • Hywel Dda University Health Board
  • Betsi Cadwalladr Health Board
  • Merseyside Women’s Hospital
  • Nottingham University Hospital

Who else is this suitable for?

If you think this is relevant for you, it probably is! Examples of types of worker I have supported are below. Session content can be adapted to fit your sector, industry or community. I will work with you to create the day you need.

My approach is informed by:

  • Laura van Dernoot Lipsky’s work at the Trauma Institute
  • My experience delivering interactive sessions with hundreds of midwives throughout Wales and England.
  • Viewing VT as a workers’ rights issue which as well as personal awareness requires support from employers and unions.
  • Delivering Vicarious Trauma awareness workshops to a range of frontline professionals, including nurses and midwives, lawyers and paralegals working on cases of historic child sexual abuse, care workers in secure psychiatric units, frontline domestic violence advocates, social workers and prison officers.
  • The award-winning holistic Workplace Vicarious Trauma Management Plan developed by Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia which, during my time working there helped me to offset the impacts of a decade of trauma-based work in ways I didn’t realise were possible.

Please contact if you are interested in finding out more about this type of workshop.