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REG. $28

PTSD Vicarious Traumatization: Towards Recognition & Resilience-Building

Fred D. Gusman, MSW; Pamela J. Swales, PhD

CE Credit: 2 Hours

Target Audience: Psychology CE | Counseling CE | Social Work CE | Marriage & Family Therapy CE

Learning Level: Intermediate

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

PTSD Vicarious Traumatization: Towards Recognition & Resilience-Building is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that offers providers suggestions for coping and self-care.

Providers, and those who listen empathically to the trauma stories of others, are at risk for reactions known collectively as vicarious traumatization (VT). This course outlines some of the basic differences between primary traumatization, secondary traumatization, VT, and compassion fatigue; discusses many of the signs and symptoms of VT; provides questions for self-assessment of VT; and provides coping suggestions for providers who are involved in trauma work or those who may have VT reactions. This course offers providers and others who listen empathically to the trauma stories of others, a basic understanding of the possible effects of "caring for others" and discusses ways to monitor oneself and engage in positive self-care. 

Closeout Course #20-39 | 2007 | 20 pages | 13 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1. Describe Vicarious Traumatization (VT) and related concepts
2. Explain how VT changes basic assumptions about self/others/world
3. List three variables that increase risk of VT
4. Identify when VT is interfering with self or provision of care
5. Discuss methods to support/increase resilience and positive coping

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) to offer home study continuing education for NCCs (#5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB #1046, ACE Program); the Florida Boards of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling (#BAP346) and Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation. Click here to learn more.

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About the Author(s)
Fred D. Gusman, MSW, is an internationally recognized figure in the mental health field. Mr. Gusman's expertise in the arena of traumatic stress is based on the firm foundation of his own military service coupled with his 30 years of clinical, research, and consultative experiences in the field of traumatic stress, combat stress, PTSD, disaster mental health services, and mental health programs development. He is an expert educator, clinician, program administrator and developer, and is a frequently sought after consultant to those in the field of traumatic stress. His knowledge base is informed by a noteworthy career and varieties of roles and experiences. Mr. Gusman pioneered and developed the nation's first residential rehabilitation programs for men and women veterans at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). Under his vision, guidance, and leadership, the programs have served thousands of veterans during the course of the last thirty years. In addition to this role, he has been called upon to serve in diverse capacities for the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institute of Mental Health, Department of Defense, American Red Cross, Federal Governmental Committees, in numerous community and state programs throughout the country and in Europe, and in numerous natural and man-made disasters, e.g. September 11th terrorist attack on the Pentagon). During the last two years, Mr. Gusman has provided numerous consultations and clinical trainings to various branches of the Department of Defense such as: Marine Corp Community Services (MCCS) staff and Marine Corps Family Services staff (various US mainland sites); the National Guard (Hawaii's 29th Infantry Brigade) and their families, and; Army personnel at Hawaii's Schofield Barracks-Soldier Retransition Center and the Family Retransition Center. Finally, Mr. Gusman is a collaborator on various research studies and author/co-author of numerous research and clinical publications.


Financial: No relevant financial relationships exist.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

Pamela J. Swales, PhD, is a psychologist at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (NCPTSD) at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) - Palo Alto Health Care System. She received her degree in clinical psychology from the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, Palo Alto, California and completed a three-year NIMH postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. During her graduate studies and postdoctoral fellowship, she developed both research and clinical expertise in the anxiety disorders, pharmacological and cognitive-behavioral treatments for Panic Disorder and its related disorders, and the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of older adults with psychiatric disorders. Since joining the NCPTSD-Education Division nine years ago, she has focused on developing innovative ways to translate science-into-practice and for the dissemination (e.g. nationwide live, satellite broadcasts, dvds, videos, web-based curricula) of state-of-the-art knowledge related to PTSD to providers at VA and other facilities nation-wide.


Financial: No relevant financial relationships exist.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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