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Understanding Vicarious Trauma

Understanding Vicarious Trauma

  • Virtual Training,

The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is pleased to announce that registration is now open for “Understanding Vicarious Trauma” virtual training.

Session Description:

Vicarious trauma is a common experience for practitioners who work with victims of crime. Due to the constant exposure to the pain and suffering of others, front-line practitioners experience significant emotional and bodily stresses that have a cumulative negative impact on their health and job performance. This training consists of three parts. First, this workshop will begin with a summary of published research on the similarities and differences between stress, vicarious trauma, and burnout.  With this grounding in the empirical research literature, the presenter will share first-hand stories and experiences to help attendees ‘see’ how these findings manifest in our professional and personal lives.  Second, the presenter will share how attendees can recognize common warning signs that they have taken on too much cumulative exposure and the work is starting to have a detrimental effect on their health and/or job performance.  The workshop will also cover using commonly available assessment tools to evaluate whether participants need to seek supportive resources and/or time away from their work.  Finally, the presenter will share empirically-supported strategies for mitigating stress, vicarious trauma, and burnout at both the individual level as well as the organizational level.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this session, participants will be better able to:

  • Recognize the symptoms of stress, vicarious trauma, and burnout
  • Understand the impact of vicarious trauma on individual health, job performance, and organizational success
  • Identify warning signs of excessive stress, vicarious trauma, and/or burnout
  • Learn how to utilize assessment tools to evaluate individual needs for supportive resources
  • Develop supportive solutions for workplace teams and organizations to mitigate negative impacts


Dr. Rebecca Campbell is a University Distinguished Professor and William J. Beal Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University. In her research career, Dr. Campbell studies sexual assault survivors’ disclosure and help-seeking experiences with the legal and medical systems. She has published over 150 scientific papers and two books on these topics, and has conducted over 300 presentations at state, national, and international conferences. Dr. Campbell was the lead researcher for the National Institute of Justice-funded Detroit Sexual Assault Kit Action Research Project, which was designated as an Exemplary Project by the Association of Public & Land Grant Universities (APLU) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Dr. Campbell also conducts training on sexual assault and vicarious trauma for law enforcement and multidisciplinary practitioners in civilian, military, and campus community settings.

Participant Registration and Cost:  This training is free for victim-serving professionals. Participants need to register in advance. Please click here to register.   

DCJS Page Contact

Tricia Everetts
Victims Services Training Coordinator
Victims Services
(804) 292-4892
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