Transforming the Pain
A Workbook on Vicarious Traumatization
Publication Date: October 1996
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In your profession, do you help or work with people who have been traumatized? Do you listen to stories of abuse, suffering, or trauma from your clients every day? If so, you know it is important to hear and bear witness to trauma survivors experiences and not be changed. You know firsthand the personal cost of the work you do and the struggle to make sense of powerful, often painful, feelings and altered beliefs. This transformation of a helper s inner experience is called vicarious traumatization (VT); it is an inescapable effect of trauma work. Transforming the Pain is the first workbook to address VT. It is designed to take care of the helper to help you asses, address, and transform your own VT. Authors Karen W. Saakvitne and Laurie Anne Pearlman define and describesthe VT process and offer reassurance that you are not alone with these painful experiences. The book includes self-assessment worksheets, and guidelines and specific exercises for addressing VT and improving self-care. It is designed to be used by a wide range of professionals and paraprofessionals, including, but not limited to, therapists, police, medical personnel, crisis workers, and clergy. After working with Transforming the Pain, you will find that you have a new awareness of the ways your work affects your life as well as new skills and tools for improving your emotional well-being."