Vicarious [Secondary] Trauma Workshop

20 Feb

It is increasingly recognised that some social sciences research places exceptional emotional demands on the researcher, and that managing these emotional demands can be an essential component of the work.  In particular, researchers whose fieldwork entails hearing about and engaging with the traumatic experiences of others may be at risk of developing symptoms of vicarious trauma (sometimes called 'secondary trauma') which can parallel symptoms of traumatic stress.

The vicarious trauma workshop aims to help researchers reduce the risk of vicarious traumatisation. It will be relevant to research contexts including conflict, genocide, natural disaster, domestic violence, imprisonment, sexual abuse, and displacement, although the workshops are open to anyone who feels they might be of use.

The workshop consists of two, two hour sessions:

  • Session 1 will introduce the phenomenon of vicarious trauma:  how it develops, typical effects, and broad strategies to mitigate these effects
  • Session 2 will explore specific steps researchers can take to maintain personal and professional wellbeing before, during and after fieldwork.

Participants are asked to commit to attending both sessions. 

The workshops will be led by Maureen Freed, Audrey Bronstein and Harriet Peters, staff members at the university counselling service with particular interest and expertise in the treatment of trauma.  Audrey Bronstein will also bring perspectives from a career at Oxfam, in the field and in senior roles managing, mentoring and supporting Oxfam staff working with traumatised populations in conflict and emergency zones.

Each workshop will be limited to 12 participants.

Hilary Term
First workshop
Part 1: 3rd week: 30 January
Part 2: 4th week: 6 February
Second workshop
Part 1: 6th week: 20 February
Part 2: 7th week: 27 February

Venue:  Rhodes House, Said Foundation Room (1st floor). Please note that access to the room is via stairs (no lift).  If you would like to participate but have mobility issues that would make accessing the room a concern, please let the training team know so that arrangements can be made to accommodate you.

Course Type
Intended Audience
Doctoral Students
Post-docs & Early Career Researchers
Established Academics & Researchers