Specialized Counseling & Training for Advocates

Why do advocates need specialized counseling? 

Professionals and para-professionals (peer supports) who advocate for victims of crime are at increased risk of:

Working in the field of victim advocacy has been a profound journey of empowerment and endurance for me. Over the past 15 years, I have dedicated myself to supporting victims of violent crimes in both the public and private sectors. Throughout my career, I have provided counseling, training, and administrative support to fellow victim advocates. Additionally, I delved into the neuroscience behind the impact of vicarious trauma and burnout on advocates while studying for my second Master's degree at King's College London.

Unfortunately, the toll this work takes on advocates is often underestimated and underdiscussed. Without adequate support from organizations, society, supervisors, colleagues, friends, and family, burnout becomes an all too common outcome. The demand for advocates is constant, and every loss in our field means a potential gap in support for a victim. It's a pressing issue that deserves more attention, even as we focus on assisting our clients to the best of our abilities.

To truly advocate for others, we must prioritize tuning into our own internal world and assessing our capacity for empathy, compassion, mental and physical well-being, and our own drive to continue this work. Burning out does not signify failure or an inability to meet the demands of this role. Instead, it highlights the importance of addressing personal wellness and creating a comprehensive plan to cultivate resilience.

I am here to assist you on this journey. Together, we will utilize the latest research, tools, and techniques to help you evaluate whether victim advocacy remains the right path for you. We will focus on cultivating your capacity for resilience and well-being, enabling you to thrive in this challenging and demanding role.

Remember, you are not alone in this work. Reach out to me today, and we will explore ways to reignite meaning and purpose in your advocacy. Let's build a powerful shield against the risks that come with advocating for others, so you can continue making a lasting impact while maintaining your own personal well-being.

Specialized Training for Advocacy Organizations

Did you know that compassion fatigue is a misnomer? 

What researchers have identified is that our brain and body respond to prolonged exposure to vicarious trauma with a phenomenon known as "empathic distress fatigue." Essentially, this means that our brain becomes desensitized to traumatic stimuli, leading to diminished emotional and empathic responses. Over time and constant pressue, this erodes our compassionate behaviors, affecting not only advocates but also the victims we serve. Compassion forms the bedrock of victim advocacy, as it drives us to engage in selfless acts of support and assistance, so we cannot ignore these downrange effects. 

For more information or a copy of my thesis on implementing compassion versus empathy training in victim advocacy organizations, contact me. I can assist your organization in determining whether your training, support materials, supervision, and leadership principles leverage empathy and compassion appropriately to ensure best quality customer service to victims, workforce health and retention, and organizational sustainability