If you are in the helping professions or know someone who is, I can’t recommend this book highly enough…

July 5, 2012


Hi, I’m Megan Hunter, CEO/speaker at Life Unhooked, publisher at HCI Press and CEO/founder at Unhooked Books. I’m dedicated to being your resource for information on unhooking from high conflict people at work and in your personal life so that you can be happier and healthier.

Millions of you are in a “helping” profession, someone who helps other people. Firefighters, law enforcement, mental health professions, legal professions, medical professions, funeral home directors and many, many more. If this describes what you do, you’ve likely felt the effects of other people’s stress and trauma. In the mental health community, the stress and trauma is commonly referred to as compassion fatigue, burn-out, or just plain stress. Recognition of this condition in the helping professions has been acknowledged for many years but new research shows the level of devastation it can have on the helper. A new term that seems more accurate, descriptive and all-encompassing has come about – vicarious trauma.

Vicarious trauma is officially defined as the effect on you, the helper, from controlling your empathy while hearing other people’s trauma-content stories. Think about it, when you hear about a tragedy from a friend, you react with shock, surprise or some type of physical and/or emotional response. You express empathy. People in the helping professions are required to control their empathy while they hear trauma stories. The result over time is vicarious trauma.

So, what does vicarious trauma do? And why is it important for helpers to know about it and recognize it within themselves? Because if the helper doesn’t know about it, recognize it and acknowledge it, they are likely to end up with problems like depression, food and/or substance abuse or other addictions. Vicarious trauma takes away from life and helpers must know how to prevent it or treat it if they have it.

I published this book for two therapists, Vicki Carpel Miller BSN, RN, LMFT and Ellie Izzo, PhD, LPC, because I knew this was important for millions of people who probably make no connection between their sadness, depression, addiction and other problems and their chosen profession/vicarious trauma. Vicki and Ellie wrote Second-Hand Shock: Surviving & Overcoming Vicarious Trauma with the goal of helping anyone in the helping professions recognize and either seek treatment if necessary or follow the workbook portion of the book to alleviate vicarious trauma.

The authors begin with an understanding of how your brain and body react to trauma. Then with nineteen telling stories of vicarious trauma-in-progress, they lead you through a unique process that effectively addresses second-hand shock. The Second-Hand Shock Workbook, included in the book, is a straightforward guide to assist you in recovering from occupational trauma and restore you to a more balanced life.

If you are in the helping professions or know someone who is, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Helpers will be at their best personally and professionally when they become aware of this hidden danger and know how to alleviate it and prevent it.

About Unhooked Books
unHooked Books is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. We’re not just an online bookstore. I opened unHooked Books after seeing a need for one place for people to find the best and most current information available on personality disorders and borderline personality disorder in particular, living healthy, eating healthy, and managing your life. After 15 years in divorce and child support law in a county prosecutor’s office and the Arizona Supreme Court, I co-founded High Conflict Institute which helps people in high-conflict disputes of any kind. This bookstore stemmed from the needs of the people who contacted us out of desperation. Our books are written by people who are experts in their fields. I’ve personally met and worked with most of them, and those who I haven’t met, come highly recommended by those whom I have met. Enjoy perusing our bookstore and contact us with questions or comments. Thanks for stopping by! Megan Hunter unHooked Books megan@unhookedbooks.com
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