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Is Trauma Contagious? Can You Catch It at Work?
Thursday, February 29, 2024, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT
Category: Events

Is Trauma Contagious? Can You Catch It at Work?

Presenter:  Amber Ault, Manager of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Lawyers Assistance Program

Is it possible to develop symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder without having directly experienced a traumatic event?

Is it “legitimate” for legal professionals to experience feelings of distress after hearing about or observing a traumatic incident that victimized someone else?

How does repeated exposure to others’ traumatic experiences affect a professional over time?

What can legal professionals do to minimize their risk of experiencing secondary or vicarious trauma, respond to others experiencing post traumatic symptoms, and recover when the trauma load  becomes too great to manage effectively?

In this presentation, participants will learn what makes an event traumatic, how unprocessed trauma can become Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and how exposure to others’ traumatic stories and symptoms can affect one’s own mental health.  We’ll explore how the practice of law and the worlds of legal professionals --- from judges to attorneys to paralegals and affiliated professionals --- creates elevated exposure to trauma and the risk of developing secondary or vicarious trauma.  We’ll discuss how trauma can be “contagious” as distressed professionals try to re-regulate by sharing their distress with others. Importantly, we’ll review how people cope, in both ineffective and effective ways, including situations that can become dangerous for all involved.   Finally, we’ll examine what science has to say about strategies for recovering from acute and secondary trauma, experiencing post-traumatic growth, building resilience, and reducing risk where possible.

Fees: FREE for MBA members, $35 for non-members
Credit: 1.0 CLE credit to be applied for
Date: Thursday, February 29, 2024
Time: Noon - 1:00 PM
Location: In Person at the MBA
                 (online viewing available)



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