The Checkup Podcast – Episode 25: Combatting vicarious trauma in the workplace

Ashlee Sherman

Content warning: this episode of The Checkup discusses highly sensitive topics, including vicarious trauma and psychological harm. If you find this episode triggering, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

As legal professionals, we might find ourselves navigating emotionally challenging subject matters, graphic material or cases that involve emotionally charged parties. This can, in some instances, lead to 'vicarious trauma'; a phenomenon often experienced in high-stress industries such as law or healthcare.

In the latest episode of The Checkup, BN’s Natalie Laidlaw and Ashlee Sherman talk to Sally Ryan and Carly Schrever; psychologists and the directors of Human Ethos, as they discuss the complexities of vicarious trauma, empathy-based stress, burnout and compassion fatigue. Together, they explore how we can recognise the symptoms of stress, both in ourselves and our colleagues, as well as some strategies to effectively manage and prevent vicarious trauma.

In their discussion, they consider the following questions:

  • What is vicarious trauma?
  • What are some of the risk factors that make people more likely than others to experience vicarious trauma?
  • What are some signs to look out for in colleagues who are experiencing vicarious trauma?
  • What is empathy-based stress?
  • How can compassion fatigue arise?
  • What is the best approach to dealing with the symptoms of burnout?
  • How can we assist our colleagues who may be struggling?

This episode of The Checkup was recorded by Pughouse Studios and edited by Audio Advantage.

In this episode
Ashlee Sherman

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