Trauma as an Attorney

Many times when you are working as an attorney you are exposed to the traumatic experiences of others’ lives. This means that you could also experience what is called vicarious trauma.  “Being exposed daily to detailed traumatic narratives is extremely demanding and adds an important emotional dimension to legal work” (source). Vicarious, or secondary, trauma is often caused by witnessing details of or repeated exposure to violent or traumatic events.

Am I experiencing vicarious trauma? Here are some symptoms to look out for: intrusive and unwanted memories of events; intense distress marked reactions to cues and reminders of the events; avoidance of stimuli relating to the events; anger/irritability; self-destructive behaviors (can include gambling, fighting, and substance use); hyper-vigilance (being on high alert); sleep disturbances (sleeping too much, too little, frequently waking, difficulty falling asleep); feeling like you are not in your body, or feeling like you are in a dream.

Do these sound familiar to you? Outpatient therapy can be a great option to help yourself process the difficult details under the protection of HIPAA.  It is a great way to gain grounding skills, a chance to process distressing emotions and thoughts caused by the events you are exposed to, and an opportunity to grow and make meaning for yourself.

Check out the services offered at these highly accessible locations:

CARE Counseling – focused on 1-hour weekly sessions for low acuity
2000 Aldrich Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55405

PrairieCare – offers a variety of care levels based on your needs
Located throughout the Twin Cities

Lyn-Lake Psychotherapy and Wellness – focuses on outpatient services
621 W Lake St #350
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 979-2276

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