Resilience for Attachment Researchers and Practitioners: Protecting Ourselves from Secondary Traumatic Stress
Pre-Conference Workshop in Vancouver, prior to the SEAS, International Attachment Conference (IAC)
July 17, 2019
1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Led by: Patricia K. Kerig
Workshop Goals: Attachment researchers and practitioners often encounter emotionally evocative information, such as when individuals disclose histories of loss, violence, or trauma during attachment narratives or treatment sessions. A wealth of literature substantiates the importance of protecting those who work with trauma-related material from the potential spillover effects of exposure to other’s traumas (Sprang, Ford, Kerig, & Barber, 2019) which can include secondary traumatic stress (STS; posttraumatic symptoms arising from exposure to another’s trauma), vicarious trauma (VT; empathic distress associated with learning of another’s traumatic experiences), and compassion fatigue (CF; emotional exhaustion related to the intense affective engagement involved in interacting with traumatized individuals or processing information about others’ traumas). However, until recently, little recognition has been given to the fact that these concerns also are relevant to research contexts during which investigators interact with participants who have experienced trauma or when study staff are involved in coding or analyzing trauma-related information obtained during research protocols such as the AAI or other attachment narratives or questionnaires. This workshop will introduce participants to promising techniques to increase resilience and foster effective coping in the face of exposure to others’ trauma in the context of attachment-related research and treatment and to apply these skills in real-world situations. Learning outcomes will include: 1) understanding the concepts of traumatic stress, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue and the factors that confer risk or resilience; 2) implementing strategies designed to prevent STS/VC/CF by increasing preparedness to respond to challenging situations, such as participants who disclose traumatic experiences or who exhibit posttraumatic stress reactions during research protocols or treatment sessions; 3) using evidence-based tools designed to monitor our own stress reactions and detect the signs of STS/VC/CF; 4) carrying out effective strategies to recover our emotional balance and promote resilience.
The strategies presented in this workshop are drawn from a curriculum entitled Resilience for Trauma- Informed Professionals (R-TIP; Kerig, P. K. (2018). Enhancing resilience among providers of trauma-informed care: A curriculum for protection against secondary traumatic stress. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma. doi: 10.1080/10926771.2018.1468373), which has been successfully delivered to clinicians and non-mental health professionals exposed to traumatized persons and trauma-related information in a wide variety of contexts—including researchers studying sensitive topics—by introducing participants to techniques that promote resilience and effective coping in the face of exposure to others’ trauma-related material. In keeping with the author’s focus on evidence-based strategies for investigating and intervening with the underlying mechanisms that link trauma exposure to posttraumatic reactions, R-TIP is informed by recent theory on the mechanisms of risk underlying STS as well as the research regarding the protective factors that can ameliorate these negative effects.
Workshop Details: From 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm, July 17, 2019. A break will be provided mid-session.
Participants: All participants are welcome, including researchers, practitioners, and students. No prior background knowledge is required.
Registration Fees: *Registration fee includes the costs of a workbook with handouts and exercises drawn from the R-TIP curriculum, which attendees will be free to keep.
- Regular Registration: $60 CAD
- Student Registration: $30 CAD
Presenter’s Biography: Patricia K. Kerig received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and currently is a Professor and the Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah. She is an author of over 120 books, chapters, scientific papers, and guest-edited special issues devoted to understanding the factors that predict risk, recovery, and resilience among youth, adults, and families coping with adversity and traumatic stress. Her works include a textbook on Developmental Psychopathology now in its 7th edition, and a forthcoming book to be published by the American Psychological Association on the role of relationships as sources of risk and resilience for traumatized girls on the pathway to delinquency. She has been the recipient of research grants from several agencies and foundations, including most recently a 5-year grant from the National Institute of Justice to support a longitudinal study of the emotional, cognitive, interpersonal, and psychophysiological factors underlying the link between childhood trauma exposure and adolescent involvement in the juvenile justice system. She is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Traumatic Stress, a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Secondary Traumatic Stress Workgroup, and serves as a Co-Director of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Juvenile Justice Consortium and Center for Trauma Recovery and Juvenile Justice whose mission is to develop, evaluate, and disseminate trauma-informed assessment and intervention strategies to the juvenile justice system and the youth and families it serves.
Maximum seats available: 40