When helping hurts: Understanding the impact of vicarious trauma

Presenter: Kari McCluskey, Facilitator, Vicarious Trauma and Resilience Initiative at Aurora Family Therapy Centre
Date: April 15th, 2020

Webinar recording password: hPgV9jTs



Vicarious trauma is a transformative change that can occur in helpers as a result of supporting, caring, and identifying with the painful experiences of others. Witnessing the struggles and hardships of newcomer families can be difficult as we try to balance professional expectations and resource limitations with our other responsibilities. Losing hope, pulling away from others, and feeling physically and emotionally exhausted, are just a few examples of the impact we might experience. As a result, we might start to criticize our own capabilities and isolate ourselves rather than recognize what is a very human response to trauma exposure. This webinar builds an understanding of vicarious trauma and provide strategies for building resilience including how celebrating growth and even the smallest of successes can encourage and sustain vicarious resilience.


Kari McCluskey, Facilitator, Vicarious Trauma and Resilience Initiative, Aurora Family Therapy Centre

Kari McCluskey is a facilitator in the Vicarious Trauma and Resilience Initiative at Aurora Family Therapy Centre where she provides workshops and support for settlement service providers who are committed to creating positive transition and integration experiences for Canadian newcomers. In addition, she is a coordinator and instructor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg and a graduate student in Peace and Conflict studies at the University of Manitoba. A long-time advocate of empowering youth through education, service learning, and community integration, Kari spent several years in public education facilitating alternative learning programs for at-risk youth.

McCluskey headshot