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“RECOGNIZING SECONDARY TRAUMA AND CULTIVATING STAFF RESILIENCE” — a workshop led by Vic Compher, MSS, LCSW, Director and Producer of CAREgivers film

Quotes from Workshop Hosts:

  • “To be a good police officer or caregiver, on a daily basis, you give a little bit of yourself to everybody you serve….a little bit of your heart……a little bit of your soul. What we never realized and what we never prepared our folks for is that eventually there can be a cost to this. A cost of our mental health! Vic Compher’s film, CAREgivers, and his associated workshop does an excellent job of not only depicting the cost of being a caregiver but provides discussion and tools designed to lessen the effects that can occur while serving in these noble professions.” – Major Darren Ivey, Commander, Kansas City Police Department
  • “Our small rural county was pleased to welcome documentary filmmaker Vic Compher to screen “Portraits of Professional Caregivers: Their Passion. Their Pain” and lead participants in an afternoon workshop. This workshop deepened our knowledge about compassion fatigue and helped our organizations learn how to implement preventative techniques to limit the effects of secondary trauma. Our participants were very grateful for the attention paid to their wellbeing. We all appreciated Vic’s focus on not adding ‘another thing to our already full plates’-by giving us unrealistically attainable tasks-but to shift our thought process around structuring organizations to give their staff, time and support to incorporate activities that nurture our individual selves.” – Menaka Olson, First 5 Mendocino

To schedule and/or discuss how a resiliency workshop can address your staff and organization’s needs or your students in an educational setting, please feel free to email or call 267-266-0842.


Because of professional caregivers’ frequent or dramatic exposures to their clients’/ patients’ emotional or physical traumas or deaths, secondary trauma (aka compassion fatigue or vicarious trauma) often occurs.  Grief, self-blame, and lack of organizational or community support can intensify symptoms and problems on the job. This supportive workshop assists professional caregivers, including supervisors and administrators, to recognize and to address symptoms of secondary trauma. Workshop participants learn creative ways to enhance self-care and to create intentional structures of peer and organizational support that are appropriate to the culture of the agency.  (A Note about Continuing Education Credits, or CE’s.  Many hosts have a means through their state liscensing boards to provide CE’s to a variety of professional groups, including social workers, nurses, therapists, etc.  In addition, the National Association of Social Workers, has certified the workshop for a full day of CE’s for social workers.  More information is available from Vic Compher who can provide you with necessary qualifying materials for CE’s.)





– To become conscious of the manifestations of secondary trauma, aka compassion fatigue or vicarious trauma in the work place when loss and trauma occur on the caseload.

– To recognize the symptoms of secondary trauma and phases professional grief in the workplace

–To learn how to provide competent peer support (in pairs and groups within
agencies) that will promote bereavement assistance for staff and clients.

–To explore useful organizational structures that facilitate professional support and development

OUTLINE OF WORKSHOP  (Note:  For full day workshops, a popular format is to screen the film to a large diverse audience in the morning with a interactive Q and A with the audience and a panel of experts, whom the host may invite. In the afternoon, Vic Compher typically works with a more select group of professionals with an emphasis on skill building and organizational structures that can enhance recovery and resilience.)

I. Introductions, Purpose of Workshop, Learning Needs of Participants

II. Rachel: An Interview with a Social Worker Confronting Death on her Caseload

III.  Workshop Version:  CAREgivers film with discussion


IV. The Journey of Bereavement in Life and Work

V. Discussion of Participants’ Experiences with STS and/or Maria’s Letter about Secondary Trauma, Professional and Personal Recovery


VI. Cultural Expressions of Grief and Bereavement in Life and Work

VII. Demonstration of Peer Support/ Debriefing Process


VIII. A Grief Assistance Program Model for Addressing Trauma at Work and First Steps for Your Organization

X. Group Discussion/ Closure and Evaluation


Contact Caregivers Film | email: | phone: 267-266–0842 |