Alumni Interviewed: Preparing for Vicarious Trauma in Supervision

September 19, 2023

GSEHD alumna Dr. Amber Samuels (Ph.D., Counseling, NCC, LGPC (DC), CCC) was recently interviewed alongside alumna Dr. Samara Richmond (Ph.D., Counseling, NCC, LCPC, LGPC) and Dr. Elizabeth Crunk-Sikhuashvili (PhD, NCC, LGPC; former Assistant Professor of Counseling and Human Development at GSEHD) by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) to shed light on vicarious trauma. In the article, "Preparing for Vicarious Trauma in Supervision," Dr. Richmond explains that, "Vicarious trauma is the emotional or psychological impact experienced by mental health or other helping professionals from repeated or prolonged exposure to clients’ trauma-related stories." Dr. Samuels adds, "When a counselor experiences vicarious trauma, it’s as if they’re experiencing the emotional weight of their clients’ trauma, and that experience can affect how we do our job as counselors." The article asserts that for supervisors, there is the added possibility of it affecting a supervisee, which adds another challenge.

The NBCC looked to our former students and faculty to offer advice and tips. The three authored the journal article “Vicarious Grief in Supervision: Considerations for Doctoral Students Supervising Counselors-in-Training” that was published in The Professional Counselor