Social Work and Vicarious Trauma: Risks and Opportunities of Emotional Engagement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The current paper aims to encourage discussion of the potential impact of vicarious trauma for social workers. The paper locates this knowledge in the context of relationship based practice and the significance of emotional engagement and exposure across practice contexts. The paper draws from literature specific to the social work profession as well as other human services in a range of international contexts. Implications are explored for prevention, ways of coping, and intervention of vicarious trauma at the level of practitioners, services and the social work profession. The key finding from this paper is that there is a balance to be struck between acknowledging the importance of emotional engagement in social work practice and the need for awareness of signs and impact of various trauma. A model is provided to enable practitioners, organisations and the social work profession to address the emotional dimensions of social work practice within contexts of vicarious trauma. This model is applicable to social workers in national and international contexts. Recommendations for practice suggest a range of opportunities to manage the aforementioned balancing act through awareness training, supervision, self-care, organisational culture and personal/professional identity. Recommendations are made future research including assessing the nature and extent of traumatisation of social workers and strategies for prevention, coping and intervention.
Translated title of the contributionSocial Work and Vicarious Trauma: Risks and Opportunities of Emotional Engagement
Original languageChinese
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalChinese Journal of Social Construction
Volume4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Fingerprint

trauma
social work
social worker
profession
coping
organizational culture
supervision

Keywords

  • vicarious trauma
  • emotions
  • social work
  • professionalism
  • supervision

Cite this

Ingram, R., & Barron, I. (2018). 社会工作与替代性创伤: 情感卷入的风险与机遇. Chinese Journal of Social Construction, 4(2), 45-53.
Ingram, Richard ; Barron, Ian. / 社会工作与替代性创伤 : 情感卷入的风险与机遇. In: Chinese Journal of Social Construction. 2018 ; Vol. 4, No. 2. pp. 45-53.
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Ingram, R & Barron, I 2018, '社会工作与替代性创伤: 情感卷入的风险与机遇' Chinese Journal of Social Construction, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 45-53.

社会工作与替代性创伤 : 情感卷入的风险与机遇. / Ingram, Richard; Barron, Ian.

In: Chinese Journal of Social Construction, Vol. 4, No. 2, 03.2018, p. 45-53.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - The current paper aims to encourage discussion of the potential impact of vicarious trauma for social workers. The paper locates this knowledge in the context of relationship based practice and the significance of emotional engagement and exposure across practice contexts. The paper draws from literature specific to the social work profession as well as other human services in a range of international contexts. Implications are explored for prevention, ways of coping, and intervention of vicarious trauma at the level of practitioners, services and the social work profession. The key finding from this paper is that there is a balance to be struck between acknowledging the importance of emotional engagement in social work practice and the need for awareness of signs and impact of various trauma. A model is provided to enable practitioners, organisations and the social work profession to address the emotional dimensions of social work practice within contexts of vicarious trauma. This model is applicable to social workers in national and international contexts. Recommendations for practice suggest a range of opportunities to manage the aforementioned balancing act through awareness training, supervision, self-care, organisational culture and personal/professional identity. Recommendations are made future research including assessing the nature and extent of traumatisation of social workers and strategies for prevention, coping and intervention.

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Ingram R, Barron I. 社会工作与替代性创伤: 情感卷入的风险与机遇. Chinese Journal of Social Construction. 2018 Mar;4(2):45-53.