Ms Jacqueline Burke from Rape and Domestic Violence Services NSW.

November 3, 2016

The 2016 STOP Domestic Violence Conference will be held over 5-7 December at the Mercure Brisbane, QLD.  Ms Jacqueline Burke will present at the conference on ‘Vicarious Trauma – Managing the Inevitable’.

Jacqueline Burke
Jacqueline Burke

The term ‘vicarious trauma’ is often associated with the ‘cost of caring’ for others. It refers to the detrimental impacts suffered by people who are indirectly exposed to traumatic material, in particular workers in ‘helping professions’ such as Disaster & Emergency Services, Police, Health, Social Work and Counselling. Vicarious trauma can have deleterious, cumulative and prolonged effects on individual’s mental and physical well-being and can seriously undermine their ability to work in a role that includes responding to traumatised clients. It presents a serious work, health and safety risk for employers, and can produce significant human and financial costs in the following areas: employee physical and mental wellbeing, work performance, unplanned absences, attrition rates, and compensation claims, and workplace culture.

According to research the risk of vicarious traumatisation for professionals who work in trauma context cannot be fully eliminated. The effects of vicarious trauma can be however ameliorated if they are made conscious and addressed proactively by organisations and individuals. This presentation will introduce participants into the construct of vicarious trauma and provide a global overview of strategies that organisations can adopt to manage vicarious trauma effectively. Furthermore, it will explore the Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia Vicarious Trauma Management Program which received the 2007 WorkCover New South Wales award for ‘The Best Solution to an Identified Occupational Health and Safety Issue.’ Through implementation of this Program the organisation was able to achieve a greater than 50% reduction in unplanned absence from work, elimination of workers compensation claims arising from vicarious trauma, and annual savings of nearly $100,000.

Jacqueline Burke is a registered psychologist and the Clinical Director of Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia. She has worked therapeutically with people who have experienced trauma through sexual assault, family and domestic violence for 18 years and has held management roles in organisations responding to traumatised people for the last 14 years. She previously held an academic position with the University of New England and is a published author in her field. Jackie pioneered the Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia’s award winning Vicarious Trauma Management Program and through her consultation work assists organisations to develop innovative and effective responses to the management of vicarious trauma in their workforces. In her current role as Clinical Director of Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia Jacqueline oversees a team of 70 counselling professionals and is responsible for clinical, research and training programs of the organisation. Her special interest areas are: complex trauma, vicarious trauma management and clinical supervision within counselling services.

For more information on the 2016 STOP Domestic Violence Conference and to secure your registration, please visit the conference website.


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