This workshop will focus on the negative impacts of psychological trauma both among victims and among those who work with the victims. First, the speaker will discuss a framework for understanding complex trauma and its impacts. Second, he will briefly review general practice strategies that appear to effectively mitigate the effects of trauma among both children and adults. Third, he will explore the personal impacts that helping professionals sometimes endure as a result of working with trauma-affected clients, and finally he will spend time discussing the ways in which providers can apply insights from the field of trauma studies to transform the negative personal impacts of working with trauma-affected clients.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES – Upon completion of the course, you will be able to:
• Develop deeper insight into varying definitions of trauma exposure
• Develop understanding of a rich framework for describing trauma symptoms
• Gain exposure to the phases and elements of evidence-based, trauma-focused treatment
• Develop understanding of the definition, causes, and consequences of vicarious trauma
• Gain insight into what helps ameliorate or prevent vicarious trauma
• Reflect on one’s own experience of vicarious exposure to trauma
• Reflect on one’s own encounter with symptoms related to vicarious trauma
• Reflect on one’s own personal approach to preventing or transforming vicarious trauma
James "Dimitri" Topitzes, Ph.D. was a clinical social worker for Waukesha County's Department of Health and Human Services for a number of years before assuming a full time faculty position at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, where he currently serves as an Associate Professor of Social Work. Over the course of his academic career, Dimitri has conducted research on the long-term effects of child maltreatment and interventions aimed at preventing or treating early trauma. In his role as educator, he teaches courses on trauma counseling to master’s level students and directs the Trauma-Informed Care Graduate Certificate at UW-Milwaukee.