Field Directors

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  • 1.  Helping Students Cope with Secondary Trauma

    Posted Feb 07, 2024 16:49

    Does anyone have ideas and resources to share about helping students in practicum placements cope with secondary trauma?  We are in week 5 (of 14) and students are struggling to cope with the day after day challenges in mental health, school, and medical settings.  In addition, one student, in a community mental health placement, and her supervisor found a client who was dead by suicide (the agency is providing appropriate support and we are keeping in touch with the student who did return to the placement the next day).  I want to address how social workers cope, but use words other than "self-care".  I've reached out to local MH connections, but am hoping for ideas before I teach this group on Friday afternoon.  Thanks!

    Tammy Faux
    Professor of Social Work
    Wartburg College
    Waverly IA

  • 2.  RE: Helping Students Cope with Secondary Trauma

    Posted Feb 08, 2024 10:23

    Hello all, 

    I hope this message finds you well.  When I'm presenting with concerns of this kinds, I go to to see if anyone has posted professional videos covering the these important/relevant topics.  I found a few.  Please note: 

    Administration for Children and Families 

    Understanding and Addressing Vicarious Trauma

    YouTube remove preview
    Understanding and Addressing Vicarious Trauma
    Vicarious trauma can occur when we are indirectly exposed to another person's trauma through images and/or verbal or written stories. It is an occupational challenge for people working in victim services, law enforcement, emergency medical services, and human services. Individuals who experience vicarious trauma may experience a shift in world view and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
    View this on YouTube >

    You might find some wonderful resources on the NASW page.

     National Association of Social Workers

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    National Association of Social Workers
    The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards for social workers, and to advance sound social policies.
    View this on YouTube >

    NASW has filled their page with information, training, discussion around topics of interest for social workers.  I hope this information is helpful to all.  Take care...Karen

    Karen E Edmond, LMSW
    Interim Director of Practicum Education
    Charter Oak State College
    New Britain CT

  • 3.  RE: Helping Students Cope with Secondary Trauma

    Posted Feb 09, 2024 00:20


    We have started to require all of our students to read Trauma Stewardship by van Dernoot Lipsky and Buck.  We require this at the BSW and MSW level.  We then have discussions in seminar to process and reinforce the content.  We've received a lot of positive feedback from students.

    CJ Sorenson
    Director of Field Education
    Utah State University
    Logan UT

  • 4.  RE: Helping Students Cope with Secondary Trauma

    Posted Feb 09, 2024 15:05


    This is a critical issue that we discuss across various classes and build into our learning agreements. I would highly recommend the following resources:

    1. The Age of Overwhelm: Strategies for the Long Haul by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky
    2. Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky and Connie Burk

    I have used Trauma Stewardship in my MSW seminar in book club format, i.e. we all read a chapter at a time and one student develops discussion questions to bring to the small group each week and we reflect on relation to practicum and our work in the short and long-term. Her TED TALK is also valuable and I build it into courses and recommend her website which offers additional resources, including podcasts that I share with students. I have found her approach to secondary trauma - on an individual, organizational, and system's level - to be very accessible and applicable in our day to day practice. Students love it!



    Katharina Werner
    Director of Field Education
    University of Montana
    Missoula MT

  • 5.  RE: Helping Students Cope with Secondary Trauma

    Posted Feb 08, 2024 15:08

    So sorry to hear what your student experienced and glad to know that faculty are providing thoughtful support. I have many materials after teaching a semester course on the subject of trauma since 2019. I have attached a chapter I use on this topic, some slides I use in class, and a journal article. I also sometimes use excerpts from a video called When Helping Hurts with Dr. Charles Fegley (2011). This video is relevant to students from multiple disciplines that could experience secondary trauma. 

    Hope this helps,

    Debbie Minsky-Kelly

    Debra Minsky-Kelly
    Field director
    Carthage College
    Kenosha, WI 53140