Safe Space

“Erickson used to say to his patients, “My voice will go with you.”
His voice did. What he did not say was that our clients’ voices can also go
with us. Their stories become part of us – part of our daily lives and our
nightly dreams. Not all stories are negative – indeed, a good many are
inspiring. The point is that they change us.” [1]

Accessing the resources on the website may have raised issues for you about your own experiences of abuse, or you may be feeling the emotional impact of working with survivors of abuse.

If this applies to you, there is help available. Take time out from the course and the resources and try to get some support for yourself.

If you need to contact a support agency there are lots listed on this page. 

lifeguard

Indicators that you may be affected by secondary traumatisation

  • Behavioural and physical reactions: arousal, agitation, sleep problems, anxiety & fear reactions, bad dreams, intrusive imagery, Impact personal relationships and ability to experience intimacy, Difficulty maintaining professional boundaries with the client
  • Emotional reactions: uncontrolled & unintended displays of emotion; irritability; depression; sadness; anger; detachment or denial; horror, dread; hopelessness; confusion; grief; feeling overwhelmed; guilt about being spared from trauma; Feeling overwhelmed, drained, emotionally draining and exhausted, overloaded,burnt out
  • Cognitive reactions: Preoccupied with thoughts of clients outside of your work; Loss of hope, pessimism, cynicism; heightened sense of vulnerability; Question competence, self-worth, low job satisfaction.
  • Psychological reactions: detachment by rationalisation, isolation, denial

Self-Care Tips

Self-care refers to a range of practices involving maintaining balance, setting limits, developing healthy habits, nurturing one’s self and being mindful of one’s physical, cognitive and emotional state. (http://beyond-balance.com/)

Here are some things you can do to look after yourself:

  • Relaxation and meditation
  • Positive affirmations and self-talk
  • Celebrate your achievements at the end of every day
  • Remind yourself of things you have done to be proud of – celebrate success
  • Have regular supervision
  • Allow time for planning and prevention, rather than reacting to a crisis
  • Set realistic boundaries
  • Keep a journal and allow time for emotional reflection
  • Ensure you have time for activities that you enjoy
  • Develop more positive coping strategies
  • Spend time with your support network of friends and family
  • Deep breathing and exercise
  • Ensure you receive appropriate supervision

Remember that what works for one person may not for another. Try and develop your own self-care plan. Ask yourself what nourishes you and what drains you. Try and complete the following sentence: when I feel…..I need…..  i.e.: when I feel sad I need to ring a friend, when I feel angry I need to go for a run etc

 

1. Mahoney, M. J. (2003). Constructive psychotherapy: A practical guide. New York: Guilford.