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Working with secondary and vicarious trauma with Rosie Dickson, case manager

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Notes to Episode

Today we’re talking with case manager Rosie Dickson about the related phenomena of secondary and vicarious trauma: what they are; the symptoms; their prevalence in case management; staying strong and balancing your caseload when grief is all around; support and supervision for employees at times of vulnerability; how trauma can affect legal colleagues; ideas for addressing the problem through self-care, therapy, mindfulness and undisturbed time off… and the traditional top tips.


vicarious trauma, stress, compassion fatigue, burnout, clinical psychologist, occupational therapy, occupational psychology, training, accident, exposure, emotional impact, bereavement, grief, vulnerability, self-awareness, anxiety, changing behaviour, fatigue, overwhelm, lawyers, camaraderie, informal support structures, Cognitive Analytic Therapy, CAT, curiosity, self-care, mindfulness, off-duty, limitations, boundaries, reflective supervision.

0:46 Definition of vicarious trauma

2:20 Prevalence of vicarious trauma in case management

5:08 Trauma in I&A meetings

8:36 Being the strong one

10:45 Balancing case load when experiencing grief

14:48 Supporting employees during vulnerable periods

16:11 Signs that you are experiencing vicarious trauma

20:31 Supervision

23:09 Law colleagues

26:04 Self-care

27:32 Therapy

30:00 Mindfulness

33:42 Spas and undisturbed leisure time

35:17 Tips for dealing with vicarious trauma


9:45 “We are caring professions, we do want to help people… and if it’s not part of our training… potentially we’re at risk.”

24:41 “You might have to be quite pro-active to find those informal structures that are going to help you.”

28:56 “Therapy really increased my level of awareness… and particularly early signs of emotional reactions.”

36:02 “It’s ok to say no if you feel you are overloaded. It’s a good way of protecting yourself from the effects of vicarious trauma.”

Guest: Rosie Dickson, Occupational Psychologist and Independent Case Manager for HCML

Presenter: Dr Shabnam Berry-Khan, Director of PsychWorks Associates

Editor: Emily Crosby Media