Safe way out

Secondary traumatization of helpers

- Posted by Author: Udruga Za podršku in Category: Uncategorized | 1 min read

On Thursday, 28th of January, counsellor working in The National Call Center for Victims of Crime, Ivana Andrijašević, gave an online lecture as a part of a series of lectures by National Call Center’s team. The subject of the lecture was secondary traumatization in helpers, the lecture was held on Zoom platform and streamed on Facebook. There were around 109 participants who joined the lecture through both Zoom and Facebook.

Firstly the counsellor gave some information on The National Call Center, its scope of work and the lectures that will follow. The counsellor also shared her motivation for giving a lecture on secondary traumatisation referring shortly to the earthquake Central Croatia had experienced in December.

The lecture further concentrated on trauma, its characteristics, effects of traumatic experiences and shared traits of helpers distinguishing constructive and destructive motives for such work as well as the risks that accompany it. The counsellor focused on mental health risks helpers suffer from by explaining the similarities and differences between burnout, compassion fatique and secondary traumatization. The bigger part of lecture was dedicated to all the risks helpers are vulnerable to, ”the cost of caring”, the unhealthy beliefs and unrealistic expectations the society can have from helpers, but also that helpers can internalize.

The counsellor’s intention was to normalize all the challenges the helpers meet while doing their everyday jobs and the consuquences they may feel. The second and smaller part of the lecture was dedicated to all the actions that can assist helpers in caring for their mental health and in minimizing the risk of secondary traumatization. The counsellor also talked about the secondary resilience as an antidote to secondary traumatization and mentioned volunteers as an especially vulnerable and important group.


The lecture was 55 minutes long and was succeeded by a discussion. The participants shared their experiences and thoughts but the topic of supervision was the most relevant and interesting to the participants.

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