Betsy Wants Your Advice!

I am working in a community mental health agency and I am on the DBT team, as well as IDDT (Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment) team. I’ve taken a LOA due to stressors at work, which include high caseload, minimal effective supervision, and feeling powerless over all aspects of my job. I am working on my own recovery, as I’m currently meeting with a therapist to treat PTSD. She initially treated me for vicarious or secondary re-traumatization, and I’ve been addressing my own past traumas. I’m uncertain of the best approach to take when I return, which will be in the next several weeks, as I’m aware I will not be able to return to the same situation. Any suggestions would be most helpful to me.

Thank you. Betsy LMSW

2 Responses to “Betsy Wants Your Advice!”

  • William Sparks Says:

    Hi Betsy, In my personal opinion you will need an ally in the organization that has power. This could be your supervissor, Exec Dir, Charir of the Board HR Committee, or Board Chair. The strategy is to drive an Trauma Informed Organization Development Model at both the policy and practice level for staff as well as clients. Existing resources include the Sanctuary Model of Sandra Bloom in the US, Becoming Trauma Informed Model from CAMH in Toronto and tips on creating Trauma Informed Agencies from CAST Canada and Francoise Mathieu’s Walk the Walk. Your STS-PTSD counsellor may have a lead on these folks. You will need allies both in and out of the org. Let me know how is goes. Bill in Toronto.

  • Betsy Says:

    Thank you for your response. I’ve been talking with the medical director about vicarious trauma as this is a new concept to me and I’m sure our organization. I’m quite concerned about returning to work as I’ve witnessed numerous people either get fired for not having the ability to keep up with the pace and demands of the job. In addition I’ve seen numerous people return from a loa, either physical or mental health, only to be fired. The environment is highly stressful, with many of us consistently fearing losing our job or being written up. I so desire to return to work, However in a different capacity. After much research in regards to regulations, the need for use of evidence best practices and the potential changes coming that will include reimbursement based on outcomes and improvements in consumers, I would like to work in the agency in a mgmt role of practice improvement.

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