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preventing burn-out:

Preventing burn-out in the social service sector is of vital importance. We must take vicarious trauma seriously and help each other implement self-care routines that will keep us in this work.

Nicole Steward

on 4 August 2016

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Transcript of preventing burn-out:

Self-Care to
Prevent Burn-Out

How does this manifest in our lives?
"To witness human carnage of any kind, especially
on a regular basis, exacts its own toll and is often
as traumatic as experiencing the event firsthand." Peter Levine, Waking the Tiger; Healing Trauma.
PREVENT Burn-out with Self-Care
Self-care is an essential underpinning to
best practice
in the profession of social work.
The practice of self-care is
critical to the survival
and growth
of the profession. (NASW)
In order to treat trauma, we must first
notice it, acknowledge it, and
stare it in the face.
Beyond Burn-out...
preventing burn-out:
Self-care for service providers

"In the same way that oil splatters
on the painter's shirt or dirt
gets under the gardener's nails,
trauma work has an impact."
(Trauma Stewardship,
van Dernoot Lipsky 2009)
CF/Secondary traumatic stress:
natural, predictable, treatable,
unwanted consequences of working with suffering people, that is,
the cost of caring
(Figley, 1995; Stamm, 1999).
Compassion Fatigue:
The emotional residue or strain of exposure to working with those suffering from the consequences of traumatic events.
"...a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal
accomplishment that can occur among individuals
who do 'people-work' of some kind."
(Maslach (1992,2003)
Vicarious trauma is the
emotional residue of exposure
from working with people...hearing their trauma stories and become witnesses to the pain, fear, and terror that trauma survivors have endured.
Burn-Out is...
Vicarious Traumatization refers to a
cumulative transformative effect
or condition experienced by working with specific populations of survivors of traumatic life events.
Vicarious Trauma...
(McCann & Pearlman, 1990, Pearlman & Saakvitne, 1995.)
Chronic Stress > Health & Wellness
Personal & Professional effects
Overrides our
instinctive impulses,
keeping us stuck in
fight, flight, or freeze.
Move it.
“Paying attention, in a particular way:
on purpose, in the present moment,
and non-judgmentally.”
Emotions activate the Amygdala,
naming our emotions
deactivates the same brain region.

A moment of noticing can lessen
the physical effects of negative emotions.
“Rather than letting our negativity get the better
of us, we could acknowledge that right now
we feel like a piece of shit and not be
squeamish about taking a good look.”
“Compassion is not a relationship
between the healer and the wounded.
It's a relationship between equals.
Only when we know our own darkness well
can we be present with the darkness of others.
Compassion becomes real when we
recognize our shared humanity.”

Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You:
A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times
Triggering of
personal trauma
Jon Kabat Zinn
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
Pema Chödrön,
When Things Fall Apart:
Heart Advice for Difficult Times
Once we can notice and name our emotions, we must move them along.
MOVE the breath & the body
Create small, healthy habits and routines
by making honest, deliberate and
consistent change in our lives.
Radical Tendencies
Nicole Steward, MSW, RYT
@Yoga_Steward (Instagram)
Notice it.
False Self-Care
Name it.
“If you’ve come here to help me
you are wasting your time.
If you’ve come because your
liberation is bound with mine,
let us work together”
– Lila Wilson
“To allow oneself to be carried away
by a multitude of conflicting
concerns, to surrender to too many
demands, to commit oneself to too
many projects, to want to help
everyone in everything, is to succumb
to the violence of our time.”
– Thomas Merton
Full transcript