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When Compassion Hurts: Burnout, Vicarious Trauma and Secondary Trauma in Prenatal and Early Childhood Service Providers

Original Publication Date: August 19, 2015
Last Updated: March 24, 2023
Estimated Read Time: < 1 minute

Substantive workbook/manual from the Best Start Resource Centre includes sections on the biology of stress and trauma, signs & symptoms, risk and protective factors, resilience & self-care, and more.

The Best Start Resource Centre in Toronto has produced an extensive, detailed manual on burnout, vicarious trauma and secondary trauma in prenatal and early childhood providers, researched and written by Greg Lubimov. The manual is available online for downloaded here. The manual is designed to address the fact that the nature of work with clients coping with distress and pain, and the close connection between service provider and client, means that “the question is not whether stress will appear as a result of this exposure, but to what extent (Wicks, 2006)”

While there is widespread agreement that impact exists, there has been considerable debate around terminology, including terms such as burnout, vicarious trauma, secondary trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and compassion fatigue, each with a range of descriptions. The manual uses the following terms and descriptions to describe the impact of stress on workers.

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