Public Lecture | Understanding vicarious trauma, burnout and related self-care

09-02-2021 from 09:30 to 11:00
Online > Zoom

This is a one-hour public lecture followed by 30mins of Q&A that will address how vicarious trauma can impact those who interact with vulnerable and traumatised communities. The term vicarious trauma (Perlman & Saakvitne, 1995), sometimes referred to as compassion fatigue, is the latest term that describes the phenomenon generally associated with the “cost of caring” for others (Figley, 1982). Other terms used for compassion fatigue are: secondary traumatic stress (Stemm, 1995, 1997) and secondary victimization (Figley, 1982). 

Vicarious trauma is the emotional residue of exposure that people like researchers can get from working with traumatized people as they hear traumatic stories and become witnesses to the pain, fear, and terror that trauma survivors have endured. Researchers are often exposed to distressing/traumatic material through the subjects that they study.

Although burnout is different from vicarious trauma, it is equally prevalent within the fields of frontline trauma work and academia and it is important to have more conversations around these issues to educate ourselves and recognise how and when we may be impacted and to prevent burnout. Which is why Prof. Ilse Derluyn who heads the Center for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees (CESSMIR) in collaboration with Prof. dr. Tine Destrooper (Human Rights Center) and dr. Jeroen Cuvelier (Conflict and Development Studies) put together this lecture and decided to open it up to all UGent students and staff.

The lecture, which will also touch upon self-care and participant-care during research in difficult settings and/or with marginalized groups will be given by Arianna Rondos who is a licensed psychotherapist that specialises in trauma, forced migration, gender-based violence and torture and has been working with front-line aid workers, researchers, journalists and others in this field for over 15 years.

This lecture is intended for researchers working with or carrying out research among vulnerable populations such as refugees and asylum seekers, people living with disabilities, marginalized groups etc. If you want to learn more about setting clear boundaries and self-care as a researcher in difficult settings or with marginalised groups, then this lecture is for you.

Register for this online lecture

(Zoom link will be sent after registering)