Vicarious Trauma and Resilience

Course #96623 - $90 -


Working with trauma survivors as a health or mental health professional is often challenging and frequently places the professional at risk for difficult countertransference reactions, vicarious trauma, and over time, symptoms of burnout or compassion fatigue. Until recently, much of the work in this field has emphasized the negative consequences on professionals of working with trauma survivors. In contrast, vicarious resilience is a concept that has emerged relatively recently to reflect the reality that professionals may experience positive outcomes as well and find that they gain improved skills to reframe and cope with negative events in the process. Working with trauma survivors can be very rewarding and inspiring. This course will provide tools to assist professionals in addressing their own signs of distress and burnout, enhancing their sense of well-being and ability to care for themselves, and building vicarious resilience. Participants will be offered another approach to meet the challenges of trauma work and take care of themselves through trauma stewardship, which encourages us to reflect deeply on what led us to engage in trauma work, the impact it has on us, and the meaning of and lessons gained from the work. Trauma stewardship guides us to build a long-term approach to enable us to remain healthy so we can continue to do this work.

Education Category: Psychiatric / Mental Health
Release Date: 06/01/2020
Expiration Date: 05/31/2023

Table of Contents


This course is designed for social workers, marriage and family therapists, nurses, mental health counselors, and allied health professionals who work with trauma survivors.

Accreditations & Approvals

In support of improving patient care, NetCE is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team. NetCE has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6361. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. NetCE is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. As a Jointly Accredited Organization, NetCE is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. NetCE maintains responsibility for this course. Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP Office maintains responsibility for the content of the programs. This course, Vicarious Trauma and Resilience, Approval #07012022-36, provided by NetCE is approved for continuing education by the New Jersey Social Work Continuing Education Approval Collaborative, which is administered by NASW-NJ. CE Approval Collaborative Approval Period: Friday, July 15, 2022 through August 31, 2024. New Jersey social workers will receive 15 General CE credits for participating in this course. NetCE is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). NetCE complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognized internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices. As a result of this accreditation, NetCE is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. NetCE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0033. This course is considered self-study, as defined by the New York State Board for Social Work. NetCE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0021. This course is considered self-study by the New York State Board of Mental Health Counseling. Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of licensed master social work and licensed clinical social work in New York. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice for an LMSW and LCSW. A licensee who practices beyond the authorized scope of practice could be charged with unprofessional conduct under the Education Law and Regents Rules. NetCE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists. #MFT-0015.This course is considered self-study by the New York State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Designations of Credit

This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 15 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit(s) for learning and change. NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 15 ANCC contact hour(s). NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 18 hours for Alabama nurses. NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 6 NBCC clock hour(s). Social workers participating in this intermediate to advanced course will receive 15 Clinical continuing education clock hours. NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 15 credit(s). AACN Synergy CERP Category C. NetCE is authorized by IACET to offer 1.5 CEU(s) for this program.

Individual State Nursing Approvals

In addition to states that accept ANCC, NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by: Alabama, Provider #ABNP0353, (valid through July 29,2025); Arkansas, Provider #50-2405; California, BRN Provider #CEP9784; California, LVN Provider #V10662; California, PT Provider #V10842; District of Columbia, Provider #50-2405; Florida, Provider #50-2405; Georgia, Provider #50-2405; Kentucky, Provider #7-0054 through 12/31/2023; South Carolina, Provider #50-2405; West Virginia RN and APRN, Provider #50-2405.

Individual State Behavioral Health Approvals

In addition to states that accept ASWB, NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education by the following state boards: Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners, Provider #0515; Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling, CE Broker Provider #50-2405; Illinois Division of Professional Regulation for Social Workers, License #159.001094; Illinois Division of Professional Regulation for Licensed Professional and Clinical Counselors, License #197.000185; Illinois Division of Professional Regulation for Marriage and Family Therapists, License #168.000190;

Special Approvals

NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education by the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals. Provider Number 5-08-151-0624.

Course Objective

The purpose of this course is to expand health and mental health professionals' abilities to identify and understand countertransference reactions common in work with trauma survivors, the causes and signs of burnout and compassion fatigue, and factors contributing to vicarious trauma and resilience.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Identify factors contributing to distress in health and mental health professionals who work with trauma survivors.
  2. Discuss the importance of developing a self-care plan for trauma professionals.
  3. Define countertransference.
  4. Identify common countertransference reactions (CTRs) in working with trauma survivors.
  5. Define compassion satisfaction and compassion fatigue and its relationship to burnout and vicarious traumatic stress.
  6. Identify common signs and symptoms of burnout.
  7. Discuss strategies to prevent the development of burnout.
  8. Define vicarious trauma.
  9. Explain common causes of vicarious or secondary traumatic stress in health and mental health professionals who work with survivors of trauma.
  10. Analyze the relationship between vicarious trauma and constructivist self-development theory.
  11. Identify various strategies to address or prevent vicarious or secondary trauma.
  12. Define vicarious resilience.
  13. Identify factors that empower and promote the well-being of trauma professionals.
  14. Define trauma stewardship.
  15. Describe components of a self-care plan.


S. Megan Berthold, PhD, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker and holds a PhD in social welfare. She is a clinician, trainer, and researcher who specializes in the cross-cultural assessment and treatment of survivors of torture and other traumas. She is an Associate Professor and the Director of Field Education at the University of Connecticut's School of Social Work and worked with the Program for Torture Victims (PTV) in Los Angeles for 13 years, where she was a psychotherapist and the Director of Research and Evaluation. PTV was founded in 1980 and is the oldest program in the United States that provides specialized medical, psychological, and case management services to survivors of state-sponsored torture from around the world. Since the mid-1980s, Dr. Berthold has worked clinically with refugee and asylum-seeking survivors of political persecution, torture, war traumas, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, community violence, domestic violence, child abuse, and other traumas from many countries. She has extensive experience as a mental health professional in outpatient, inpatient, and residential settings. She has worked as a clinician and educator in refugee camps in Nepal, the Philippines, and on the Thai-Cambodian border. Dr. Berthold has conducted research funded federally by the National Institute of Mental Health, with colleagues at the RAND Corporation, examining the prevalence of torture and its mental and physical health consequences among Cambodian refugees in Southern California. She has also conducted federally funded clinical outcomes research with torture survivors and co-chairs the National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs (NCTTP's) Research and Data Project. In addition, Dr. Berthold has testified extensively as an expert witness in U.S. Immigration Court in the areas of torture, rape, female genital mutilation, and other forms of trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental health, and psychological evaluation. Dr. Berthold is regularly called upon to train and consult with health and mental health professionals as well as attorneys and social service providers on the topics of vicarious trauma and resilience and self care. She was selected as the 2009 National Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers. Dr. Berthold has found that an understanding of these topics and the implementation of a self-care plan has been vital to her ability to sustain her own career serving trauma survivors over the past nearly three decades.

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, S. Megan Berthold, PhD, LCSW, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Division Planners

Jane C. Norman, RN, MSN, CNE, PhD

Alice Yick Flanagan, PhD, MSW

James Trent, PhD

Division Planners Disclosure

The division planners have disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Director of Development and Academic Affairs

Sarah Campbell

Director Disclosure Statement

The Director of Development and Academic Affairs has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Technical Requirements

Supported browsers for Windows include Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 and up, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Supported browsers for Macintosh include Safari, Mozilla Firefox 3.0 and up, Opera 9.0 and up, and Google Chrome. Other operating systems and browsers that include complete implementations of ECMAScript edition 3 and CSS 2.0 may work, but are not supported. Supported browsers must utilize the TLS encryption protocol v1.1 or v1.2 in order to connect to pages that require a secured HTTPS connection. TLS v1.0 is not supported.

Implicit Bias in Health Care

The role of implicit biases on healthcare outcomes has become a concern, as there is some evidence that implicit biases contribute to health disparities, professionals' attitudes toward and interactions with patients, quality of care, diagnoses, and treatment decisions. This may produce differences in help-seeking, diagnoses, and ultimately treatments and interventions. Implicit biases may also unwittingly produce professional behaviors, attitudes, and interactions that reduce patients' trust and comfort with their provider, leading to earlier termination of visits and/or reduced adherence and follow-up. Disadvantaged groups are marginalized in the healthcare system and vulnerable on multiple levels; health professionals' implicit biases can further exacerbate these existing disadvantages.

Interventions or strategies designed to reduce implicit bias may be categorized as change-based or control-based. Change-based interventions focus on reducing or changing cognitive associations underlying implicit biases. These interventions might include challenging stereotypes. Conversely, control-based interventions involve reducing the effects of the implicit bias on the individual's behaviors. These strategies include increasing awareness of biased thoughts and responses. The two types of interventions are not mutually exclusive and may be used synergistically.