The Cost of Helping: Vicarious Trauma and Best Practices for Sustaining Trauma Informed Practices

May 10, 2019

Presented by Kelly Pratt, LICSW


This training will provide an awareness of the various physiological and neurological systems affected by working with individuals and families experiencing complex trauma. Additionally, the training will provide concrete strategies to manage and decrease the long term impact of engaging in this work. The training will cover a mix of didactic and experiential strategies to support practitioner skills development and take home practices to continue supporting their professional work.

Engaging in the helping profession necessitates an ongoing commitment to understanding and mitigating the effects of vicarious trauma, and related stressors. Professionals who work with children and families experiencing complex trauma are often facing overwhelming clinical demands and require a specific toolkit to address work-related physical, emotional, and spiritual effects. This training is designed for all mental health workers, clinicians, direct care staff, supervisors, and peer mentors.


Friday, May 10, 2019

9:00am: Brief overview of trauma-informed clinical practices
10:30-10:45: Break
10:45-12:00pm: Group work on vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and compassion fatigue
12:00-1:00: Lunch
1:00-2:30: Applications of strategies for managing vicarious trauma responses
2:30-2:45: Break
2:45-4:00: Guided practice of self-care strategies and professional development

5.5 CE Hours


As a result of this training, participants will be able to…

1. Identify the various signs of vicarious traumatization
2. Identify the signs and impact of secondary traumatic stress
3. Identify the signs and impact of compassion fatigue
4. Identify three (3) concrete strategies they have practiced, found effective, and are reasonable for them to engage in during their day-to-day clinical practice
5. Use their “work compass” developed in the training to build an awareness of their warning signs, and have a list of strategies for varying levels of work related stressors
6. Describe how trauma-informed systems can help support staff development and mitigate the effects of vicarious trauma


Kelly Pratt, LICSW, received her MSW from Boston University School of Social Work and has worked clinically with child and adult survivors of chronic/complex trauma in individual and family therapy for over a decade. She has worked in a variety of settings, including hospitals, community mental health agencies, and residential programs. Ms. Pratt currently works clinically with children, adolescents, and families whose lives have been impacted by trauma and provides local and national training on the impact of trauma across the lifespan. Ms. Pratt has a particular interest in dissociating coping and complex adaptations to trauma and draws from psychological, feminist relational, and body-based perspectives.


Space in this workshop is limited for quality of training. Space is limited to 60 participants. Once limits have been reached, you will be notified that you have been put on a waiting list, and will receive a space on a first come, first served basis.


This training is appropriate for advanced, intermediate and beginning student/early career mental health clinicians (including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, master’s level counselors, clinical nurse specialists, marriage and family counselors and other providers who work with adults, children or families), allied professionals (including case managers, school personnel educational advocates, milieu personnel, social service organization administrators and leaders, state agency personnel, law enforcement, judicial personnel and advocates, early-interventionists, clergy, community-leaders and activists, and artists for change), and state agency personnel, behavioral health services administrators, faith-based, tribal and nonprofit organization leaders interested in applying trauma-informed principles toward enhancing trauma-informed systems for the individual, families and communities they serve in order to mobilize change, empower minds and bodies, ameliorate health disparities and reroute healthy life trajectories that have been disrupted by familial trauma, social adversity, chronic oppression and community violence.


The Justice Resource Institute (JRI) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. JRI maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

For information regarding the status of continuing education credits for Massachusetts social workers and licensed mental health counselors, please contact the Trauma Center Training Division.


If you are unable to attend the Training Institute, we will provide a full refund six weeks prior to the start date. If you cancel within six weeks but more than two weeks prior to the start date, we will provide a credit toward a future Training Institute workshop, less a $100 administrative fee. We must receive explicit notification of this cancellation, and credit must be used within one year of the original training date. We are unable to provide a refund or credit within two weeks of the start of the Training Institute. For more policies and procedures, please visit the Training Institute Policies and Procedures page.

Presenter: Kelly Pratt, LICSW.

Dates: Friday, May 10, 2019

Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm

Location: 160 Gould Street, Suite 111, Needham, MA 02494

Cost: $190

*We provide discounts to students and groups of three or more. Please email for more information.