When Therapists Perform Trauma Work, They Come Face To Face With Pain, Trauma, And Strong Emotions. Being Effective In Their Work Requires The Uncovering Of Intense And Difficult Material―Material That Has The Capacity To Strongly Affect The Personhood Of The Therapist At A Deep Level. In Order To Heal, Clients Need To Delve Into Dark And Sometimes Degrading Memories, All With The Witnessing Of The Therapist. For The Therapist, Empathy Breeds Vulnerability, And This Has The Potential To Overwhelm Therapists And Impair Them In Their Work.
– Van Der Kolk, Weisaeth L. & Van Der Hart, O.1996

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In 2014 CBC television and radio investigated the treatment of staff at a high-risk adolescent treatment/corrections centre in British Columbia, Canada. This is a government run facility that put their staff in “Harms Way”. WorkSafeBC (The Workers Compensation Board of BC) and the BC Nurses Union cited them for failure to protect their staff. Despite the notoriety of this extreme example, staff indicated they are skeptical that recommended changes will be implemented. This example illustrates the intransigence of some management groups in changing unsafe practices. This book is about the safety of professional health care professionals, therapists and counsellors and their workplaces and how organizations fail to perform their “due diligence” and ethical responsibilities in protecting their employees. It defines the conditions of Secondary Traumatic Stress, Compassion Fatigue, Vicarious Trauma and outlines historical influences, and the role of organizations in creating and perpetuating unsafe workplaces.

​Dr. Hall’s book is uncompromising and thorough in its approach and reveals the inconsistencies in the care of caregivers and the illusion of safety that many professional health care workers work under. She maintains in her book that workplace injuries are costly and entirely preventable and the responsibility, although shared, largely lies with the organizations that employ these workers. These professionals, their clients, their families, and society bear the cost of unsafe workplaces. She also uncovers the socio/political/economic factors that impact this highly preventable situation and offers examples of organizations that are working for change. In summary, Dr. Hall’s book is a revealing expose of the workplaces of the people that care for the most vulnerable, sick, and marginalized clients.

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Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4602-6077-7 | Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4602-6078-4

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eBook ISBN: 978-1-4602-6079-1

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Readers Reviews

DR. HALL’S CRITICAL APPROACH TO THE WELL BEING OF HEALTH CARE WORKERS SHEDS A LIGHT ON AN AREA THAT IS NOT DISCUSSED IN TERMS OF ORGANIZATIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES. THE FOCUS IS ON WHAT INDIVIDUALS SHOULD DO. IMPAIRMENT IS AN ETHICAL ISSUE AND THIS COMPREHENSIVELY RESEARCHED BOOK ADDRESSES THE CRITICAL NEED FOR CHANGE IN THE FIELD.
KATE ANDREWS, PH.D, FACULTY CALIFORNIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
A WONDERFUL START FOR PROTECTING CLINICIANS. . . . EXPLOITATION OF THOSE IN HELPING PROFESSIONS, . . INTERNS DEPENDENT UPON ACQUIRING HOURS TOWARD LICENSURE, ARE IGNORED WITHIN THE FIELD. THIS MANUSCRIPT HAS THE GUMPTION TO TAKE AN OBJECTIVE LOOK AT THE STRUCTURAL FOUNDATIONS OF ORGANIZATIONS WHICH. . . . FOSTER HARM TO THOSE IN HELPING PROFESSIONS. . . WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE WHO SPEAK UP IN DYSFUNCTIONAL SYSTEMS. . . . A GREAT READ FOR ANYONE NEW TO HELPING PROFESSIONS OR . . . UNDERSTANDING UNJUST SYSTEMS AND WHAT CAN BE DONE TO MAKE THEM HEALTHY.
GREG WESTERN, PSY.D, SCHOOL OF BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, CALIFORNIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

DR. HALL’S BOOK IS A MUST READ FOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS, SUPERVISORS AND THEIR EMPLOYERS. IT ADDRESSES THE NEED FOR ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE PROMOTING PHYSICALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY SAFE WORKPLACES.

DR. LEE PULOS

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