Clinical Stories with Issues of     DV: An Open Forum Talking about things that matter    with people doing the work      ...
Why Talk? Working in the area of domestic violence has   particular challenges and rewards The challenges can threaten t...
Challenges Include               Certain Risks Risk of attack Risk of burnout Risk of psychological stress reactions   ...
You can get hurtDid You Know More than 1/2 of social workers in Massachusetts * have been  physically assaulted in a work...
Violence Is Unacceptable Violence, threats and abuse to staff are  unacceptable. This includes sexual and racial  harass...
Promoting Safety   a statement of the organizations policy that clearly sets out a code of    practice that fits your job...
Burnout The term "burnout" has been applied  across helping professions and refers to  the cumulative psychological strai...
Factors Contributing                 To Burnout   Professional isolation   Emotional drain from empathizing   Difficult...
Symptoms Include Depression Cynicism Boredom Loss of compassion Discouragement                       National Center ...
Treatment and Prevention   Proper diet, nutrition and rest   Physical activity   Social action   Good supervision   R...
Hearing Horrendous Stories           Can Hurt the Listener Secondary Traumatic Stress     Stamm 1995     Sub-clinical o...
Treatment and Prevention Same as for burnout and Debriefing specific horrific cases Counselling Learning to set person...
Compassion SatisfactionFigley also discusses the “upside” ofworking with trauma clients:      Sense of strength      Sel...
Self CareIt’s OK to have fun!  www.yoursocialworker.com14
…and more funwww.yoursocialworker.com15
Clinical Stories with Issues of         DV: An Open ForumTalk amongst your peers and agency staff,  discuss the challenges...
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Worker challenges working with domestic violence: Injury and Burnout

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Worker challenges working with domestic violence: Injury and Burnout

  1. 1. Clinical Stories with Issues of  DV: An Open Forum Talking about things that matter  with people doing the work Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW www.yoursocialworker.com www.yoursocialworker.com1
  2. 2. Why Talk? Working in the area of domestic violence has  particular challenges and rewards The challenges can threaten the integrity of the  worker The rewards can provide a tremendous sense of  personal satisfaction Talking can help overcome the challenges and  improve the likelihood of reward. www.yoursocialworker.com2
  3. 3. Challenges Include  Certain Risks Risk of attack Risk of burnout Risk of psychological stress reactions  www.yoursocialworker.com3
  4. 4. You can get hurtDid You Know More than 1/2 of social workers in Massachusetts * have been physically assaulted in a work related incident (assaults range from pushing, hitting, and choking to life-threatening attacks) More than 3/4 have been verbally abused More than 1/3 have had a weapon brought into the workplace Over 3/4 have been frightened, even without physical or verbal threat or assault * Based upon a survey of 1,000 Massachusetts NASW members and review of literature. www.yoursocialworker.com4
  5. 5. Violence Is Unacceptable Violence, threats and abuse to staff are unacceptable. This includes sexual and racial harassment, and threats to family and property. www.yoursocialworker.com5
  6. 6. Promoting Safety a statement of the organizations policy that clearly sets out a code of practice that fits your job and where you work clear assessments of the risk to you from the individuals, families and groups you work with clear procedures about what to do when you think there is a risk, what to do after an incident, and what follow-up there will be training that fits your job, including what responsibilities you have towards colleagues and to service users a working environment that maximizes your safety support in dealing with your concerns about threats, abuse and violence procedures for making sure precautions are working and can be reviewed easily available support after an incident that fits what you and others who were involved need to recover from the experience. www.yoursocialworker.com6
  7. 7. Burnout The term "burnout" has been applied across helping professions and refers to the cumulative psychological strain of working with many different stressors. It often manifests as a gradual wearing down over time. National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder www.yoursocialworker.com7
  8. 8. Factors Contributing To Burnout Professional isolation Emotional drain from empathizing Difficult client population Long hours with few resources Ambiguous success Unreciprocated giving and attentiveness Failure to live up to ones own expectations for effecting positive change National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder www.yoursocialworker.com8
  9. 9. Symptoms Include Depression Cynicism Boredom Loss of compassion Discouragement National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder www.yoursocialworker.com9
  10. 10. Treatment and Prevention Proper diet, nutrition and rest Physical activity Social action Good supervision Realistic goals Realistic workload Variety in caseload Collegial support Taking holidays! www.yoursocialworker.com10
  11. 11. Hearing Horrendous Stories Can Hurt the Listener Secondary Traumatic Stress  Stamm 1995  Sub-clinical or clinical signs of PTSD that mirror those experienced by trauma clients Compassion Stress/Fatigue  Figley 1995  Sense of helplessness, confusion, isolation or secondary traumatic stress symptoms experienced by the worker Vicarious Traumatization  Pearlman and Saakvitne 1995  Permanent transformative, inevitable changes that result from work with trauma survivors  Cognitive schemata – e.g personal safety in the world or relationships www.yoursocialworker.com11
  12. 12. Treatment and Prevention Same as for burnout and Debriefing specific horrific cases Counselling Learning to set personal boundaries to keep from acting beyond your role Stress management strategies such as yoga Limiting alcohol in favor of health promoting activities www.yoursocialworker.com12
  13. 13. Compassion SatisfactionFigley also discusses the “upside” ofworking with trauma clients:  Sense of strength  Self-knowledge  Confidence  Sense of meaning  Spiritual connection  Respect for human resiliency www.yoursocialworker.com13
  14. 14. Self CareIt’s OK to have fun! www.yoursocialworker.com14
  15. 15. …and more funwww.yoursocialworker.com15
  16. 16. Clinical Stories with Issues of DV: An Open ForumTalk amongst your peers and agency staff, discuss the challenges, arrive at mutually acceptable solutions and HAVE FUN! Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW www.yoursocialworker.com www.yoursocialworker.com16

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