Second-Hand Shock by Ellie Izzo, PhD & Vicki Carpel Miller, BSN, MS, LMFT
Surviving & Overcoming Vicarious Trauma

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We have roughly estimated there to be over one hundred million helping professionals worldwide – those who engage in an action that benefits others at a cost to self. That is a lot of people. Hard work and dedication can take a heavy toll on the helper. The cost of helping others cannot really be assessed by the naked eye. Perhaps that is why so little has been written or done about it. In truth, the toll for many helpers is high and the amount of recovery resources is low.
This book is written for anyone in the helping professions – mental health, legal, law enforcement, clergy, teachers, and countless other professions – with the purpose of helping you recognize, address, and recover from vicarious trauma and then continuously maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Even though you are well-trained and complete continuing education on a regular basis, we fear you remain unconscious and uneducated about the signs and symptoms associated with Vicarious Trauma. Intrusive imagery, cynicism, poor memory, isolation, volatile moods, irrational fears, lack of spiritedness, physical problems or symptoms are noticed but ultimately disregarded or attributed to other better known diagnoses. How many times have you heard people ask, “How do you do this all day every day?” If you think about it, it really isn’t strange to anyone that listening to trauma stories every day all day takes a heavy toll on your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being.
We ourselves have frequently returned home from a long week of helping others only to discover that we are in a negatively altered emotional and physiological state. We too have endured our share of sleepless nights, elevated anxieties, periods of depression and physical ailments. We have heard our families and friends complain that we are impatient, distant and estranged from them. We too have suffered. We are not ashamed to admit it. That is why we have written this book.
It is troubling to us that most ethical codes do not mention the welfare of the helping professional when discussing Vicarious Trauma. We believe and we hope you agree that it is downright dangerous to continue to revere the image of the dedicated, self-sacrificing workers who never give a care to their own needs. This view perpetuates the unvoiced epidemic of Vicarious Trauma. We believe it is severely underreported in our population. We trust there are a lot of us out there suffering in silence.
The welfare of the helping professional for him/herself is an ever increasing issue of ethical importance. Professional Boards advocate self-care. Self-care implies that the individual is responsible for preventing the problem when it does occur. Professional helpers often get blamed in very shaming ways for stress responses, rather than being encouraged to see stress as a natural response and as an opportunity for introspection and feedback. We truly believe that that our approach will maintain and strengthen the clear and good judgment of the helping professional and therefore, may well be the best way to serve the client, patient, or person.

About Ellie Izzo, PhD & Vicki Carpel Miller, BSN, MS, LMFT

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Dr. Ellie Izzo is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been in clinical practice since 1982. She received her Master’s Degree from Long Island University in 1982 and her PhD in Health and Human Service from Columbia Commonwealth University in 2007. She developed Rapid Advance Psychotherapy, a standardized five session brief model of counseling which was presented at the American Counseling Association convention in Atlanta in 1997 and again in Honolulu in 2008. Ellie is co-founder and a core trainer with the Vicarious Trauma Institute, introducing the Rapid Advance Technique for treatment of Vicarious Trauma. She is the author of The Bridge to I Am: Rapid Advance Psychotherapy©2007 and co-author of Day After Day the Price We Pay: Managing Your Second Hand Shock.Ellie conducts all phases of psychotherapy. She also serves as a Divorce Coach, Child Specialist and/or Team Manager in the process of Collaborative Divorce, whereby a team of professionals help a couple move through divorce respectfully, without litigating. Ellie presents for numerous conferences and conventions. She hosted a call-in radio show in Phoenix and served as Self-Help Editor for a nationally syndicated trade magazine. Ellie is currently the psychology adviser for AZ Teen Magazine. She runs several ongoing groups called the Encouragers, where people meet to offer each other peace, support and acceptance. Ellie is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Counseling Association, the American Mental Health Counselors Association, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and Collaborative Divorce Professionals of Arizona. She is married with children and grandchildren. Her office is located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Vicki Carpel-Miller, BSN, MS, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice for over 18 years, specializing in the treatment of divorce related issues and blended families. Vicki was instrumental in bringing Collaborative Practice to Arizona and functions as a divorce coach, child specialist and/or case manager in Collaborative Divorce files. Vicki is a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT), and an Advanced Practitioner Member of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) specializing in custody and post-divorce issues. She has received advanced training in family mediation, narrative mediation, interest-based negotiation, Collaborative Law and Collaborative Divorce Interdisciplinary Team Practice. She has served as a custody evaluator, family court adviser/parenting coordinator and therapeutic interventionist for the Maricopa County Superior Court addressing children’s needs in family court disputes. Vicki has served on the Executive Committee of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) as Secretary to the organization (2006), is a past Board member (2003-2006), and a current member of the IACP Professional Development Committee. She is a past member of the IACP Standards Committee, Cores Skills Institute Committee, Forum Committee, and Advisory Council on Collaborative Training and Practice. Vicki is a trainer with the Collaborative Divorce Training Team, and co-founder of the Collaborative Divorce Professionals of Arizona.
Published January 3, 2012 by High Conflict Institute. 185 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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