I’m working on a social science exercise and need support to help me learn.
One role of a trained crisis counselor includes working for a crisis hotline. Crisis hotlines are call centers that take phone calls from individuals experiencing various type of crises or trauma. For example, there are hotlines specifically for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts, for survivors of sexual assault, for veterans, and for mobilizing mobile crisis outreach teams. When working at these hotlines, counselors intercept back-to-back crisis-related calls for their entire shift. Long hours spent hearing about clients’ traumatic experiences, intervening when clients present as suicidal, and making decisions about high-risk crisis situations can be very taxing on a counselor.
How might counselors who work with high-risk clients experience vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout? What might self-care look like for a counselor in this situation? What strategies might a counselor use to prevent experiencing vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, or burnout in the future? Which other professionals might face a similar risk in the counseling field?