Dealing with secondary trauma

This section is for questions relating to therapy, assessment, formulation and other aspects of working with people in mental health services.

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matt.berlin
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Re: Dealing with secondary trauma

Post by matt.berlin » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:14 pm

astra wrote:
eastofnorth wrote:Perhaps those that cultivate compassion towards others also cultivate it towards themselves (and vice versa), expediating the recovery process.
I don't think you can do one without the other can you, eastofnorth?
I would say that some people don't ... it is easy to fall into the therapist trap of being kinder to others than you are to yourself.
Ordnung ist das halbe Leben ... aber die andere Hälfte ist viel schöner!

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workingmama
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Re: Dealing with secondary trauma

Post by workingmama » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:18 pm

I would wholeheartedly agree with that Matt. It's one of the reasons that I belatedly saw that I shouldn't have taken my counselling training when I did. I was ready to try compassion for other people, but utterly unequipped to be kinder to myself (I'll confess to being a reformed 'gunner' :oops: , if that makes sense for people?). Whilst I (then) argued fervently that it was possible to work with compassion with other people, but not extend that to self, I since believe that you can't work with the full range of yourself unless you can overcome some of those hurdles.

The main questions I had to confront were:
If I don't forgive myself for things, how can I not secretly envy, resent or put down others who are able to do so?
If I can't allow myself to admit to my needs and fears, how can I ask for those to be met outside the therapeutic relationship without using passive-aggression or dishonest means? And if I can't have those needs met outside the therapeutic relationship, might I risk trying to have them met within the therapeutic relationship? :shock:.

I guess you can only work with what you've got to give, and if compassion isn't something you've got spare after you've taken your own share, it's pretty hard to give much of it (or at least, that's my own totally based on nothing researchy feelings about it).

Feeling very full of compassion and world-love having got my OU degree result in today after 5 years of doing it alongside work!
Fail, fail again, fail better.

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