Professional self-care and the prevention of secondary trauma among play therapists working with traumatized youthedit
Practitioners who work with children or adolescents after crises or exposures to traumatic events can experience a high level of compassion satisfaction, especially when they employ self-care strategies that foster their internal and external resources. This chapter reviews the risks and benefits for practitioners who work with children and adolescents after such events and exposures. It provides a way for practitioners to understand these risk and benefits, and a roadmap to help them foster their own resilience. First, the chapter reviews the differences between compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue, as well as work-related adverse effects of crisis and trauma counseling. These include the effects of dealing with psychological distress, chronic bereavement, countertransference, secondary trauma/compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. Then the chapter presents strategies for how practitioners can survive and thrive at the personal, interpersonal, organizational, and community levels.