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Therapy and the Use of Self Part 1: Defining the Impact of Working with Trauma
Original Recording Date :

Course Format

Hybrid: recorded webinar and reading-based online activity.

Individuals in the helping profession are at risk for encountering trauma, both directly and indirectly.  The NASW establishes professional ethics that guide practice and this has changed over time with the advance of knowledge and technology. The Council for Social Work Education developed a guide in advanced social work practice. This document includes recommendations to identify and differentiate the signs and symptoms of secondary traumatic stress/vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout. The goal of the workshop is to identify concepts of trauma, recognize vulnerability and apply these definitions to analyze their own risk. Time will be spent exploring the dynamics of a vicarious trauma “normally” experienced compared to during a crisis experienced globally, such as that experienced during COVID-19.  Participants will work on formulating a plan of action to assess the impact of these concepts on their own practice.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define trauma and the potential impact on systems
  2. Describe the systemic nature of vicarious trauma and the importance of safety and resilience for the client, organization, and practitioner.
  3. Compare the dynamics of vicarious trauma experienced under “normal” circumstances and during a crisis experienced globally.
  4. Analyze situational factors that increase vulnerability.
  5. Formulate a plan to address issues of vulnerability.

Research:  The American Psychological Association maintains a database on publications about trauma. Google Scholar includes links to numerous articles on vicarious trauma.

Target Audience: social workers, mental health practitioners, creative arts therapists, marriage and facility therapists, psychologists, addiction professionals, case managers, and other interested individuals.

Original Date of Recording: 05/15/2020

Customer Service

ADA Accommodations: If you require any support for your ADA needs in the United States, please contact us by email at least 3 weeks prior to the event by email at or by phone at 716-829-5841.

Customer Service: We are happy to respond to any concerns or questions you may have. Please contact us at by email at or by phone at 716-829-5841.

Sarah Smith, ACSW, LCSW-R, EMDRIA Approved Consultant, Center for Clarity, Consultation and Training, LLC

Sarah Smith, ACSW, LCSW-R is an EMDRIA Approved Consultant in Buffalo, NY.  Sarah obtained her MSW in social work in 1994 and worked in a community mental health for several years.    She worked primarily with addictions and mental health.  Early in her career she observed women in addiction treatment had encountered specific challenges to treatment, and was able to address some of these needs through specialized groups.  She was trained in EMDR at the University of Buffalo in 2008 and that training was a game changer for her career. She specifically sought training and consultation to work with complex PTSD and dissociative disorders.  She continues to specialize in co-occurring disorders.  She is currently an Approved Consultant through EMDRIA. In 2011 she went into private practice and in 2014 founded The Center for Clarity in Amherst, NY.  


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