“Clients experiencing trauma put their lawyers at a higher risk for vicarious trauma.”
Jeff Sherr,Training Director, National Association for Public Defense
Trauma associated with legal work is experienced by many yet discussed by few. As with first responders, counselors, or other helping professionals, attorneys often work with people in crisis. The experience of being indirectly exposed to another’s trauma can create the unintended trauma for the attorney known as “vicarious” or “secondary trauma.”
Lawyers and judges alike are at risk for developing mild to incapacitating symptoms if not diligent about self-care and willing to access help if needed. Some of these symptoms include: persistent negative thoughts, avoidance, withdrawal, hypervigilance and sleep disturbance. Unattended, those symptoms can lead to personal and professional problems.
A panel of women, moderated by retired NJ Supreme Court Justice Helen Hoens, will address this issue from personal and professional experience. Helping resources shared will include two education/support groups that will be held the second Saturday in May and June at the Law Center. This will allow for additional information and further personal exploration and discussion in a confidential setting.
Other programs in NJLAP's Wellness series for Women Attorneys: July 13, October 5
Free of charge, but registration required.