Uncategorized Articles

Recognizing Secondary Traumatic Stress in Oursleves

Culturally, in the human service field, there is a dynamic out there that secondary trauma is perceived as “weak”. As a result of this many people might be suffering from this residual experience but might either be denying it, or just plain unaware of it. So what is it really?  Freud explained it well,

“No one who, like me, conjures up the most evil of those half-tamed demons that inhabit the human beast, and seeks to wrestle with them, can expect to come through the struggle unscathed.”  

It is almost impossible to not be moved by one family’s story of insufferable struggles. How can you believe you would not be significantly changed by the stories of 10, 20, 100?

Some recognizable sign of secondary trauma are:

  • flashbacks (about our own issues/experiences)
  • triggers / buttons that a client may push (about which we are sensitive)
  • beliefs we have that are challenged by our clients
  • old wounds re-opened
  • nightmares (perhaps about something a client has shared or we have witnessed involving a client)
  • guilt, shame, rage
  • unsuccessful at separating professional work from personal life
  • becoming fearful of a client (personal safety)
  • daydreams / re-enactments about a client’s issues (or our own which have been stirred up by client)
  • adrenaline rushes
  • feeling unfulfilled by your work or feeling you are unsuccessful in helping clients
  • avoidance / denial / isolation (you may begin to blame the ‘victim’)
  • zoning out (particularly during client-contact time)
  • sleepy / trance-like behavior
  • personal depression
  • feeling estranged from others
  • overworking yourself
  • physical symptoms: sleeplessness, appetite decrease or increase, panic or anxiety attacks, hyper vigilance, hyper alert – easily startled

It’s not an overnight transformation, its damage that happens over time, similar to erosion.  There is no reason to deny that it exists. It’s simply part of the work. Remember to debrief with a supervisor about cases and experiences, even if you think you don’t need to. So take in inner inventory of your emotional and mental health. If you are experiencing some of the things mentioned above, reach out. You may find yourself feeling better, even if you weren’t aware you weren’t feeling so great.

WNY Regional Peer Conference Call for Presenters

“Peers Promoting Wellness and Recovery Across the Lifespan”

WNY Regional Peer Conference
Saturday, June 21, 2014 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Butler Rehabilitation Center at Buffalo Psychiatric Center
400 Forest Ave., Buffalo, NY 14213

Call for Presenters

Deadline for submission: April 18, 2014

We are seeking dynamic, engaging, passionate people to offer workshops related to our theme of “Peers Promoting Wellness and Recovery Across the Lifespan.”

What is a Peer? One who has lived experience in receiving mental health services.

What is Peer Support? Receiving mutual support from someone who has similar experiences. People with similar experience may be able to listen and give hope and guidance toward recovery in a way that is different and just as valuable as professional services.


A Two Track Program

Track 1: “Welcome to the Peer Movement” For peers just getting started…

Track 2: “Peers as Effective Leaders” For experienced peers seeking to assume leadership roles…

Suggested topics include but are not limited to: History of the Peer Movement, Community Based Services, Self Empowerment, Advocacy, Wellness and Recovery, Leadership Skills and Leadership Roles, Working and Benefits Awareness, Staying Healthy While Working, The Role of Peers in Medicaid Managed Care, Dangers of Co-optation, Exploring Partnerships, Youth in Transition.

Target Audience: Mental health peers, families, providers and the community at large.

Length of Workshop Session: 35-40 minutes plus time for Qs and As; maximum 60 minutes.

All submitters will be notified of acceptance or regret by May 5, 2014.

Please submit the requested “Call for Presenter Information” on following pages by April 18 to:

Michelle Scheib
Restoration Society Inc.
66 Englewood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14214
(716) 832-2141, Ext 21
FAX: 716-832-0021


Shifting Perspectives: Strengthening Communities Event


This two day event is an opportunity to explore concepts of inclusion, engagement and citizenship.

Shifting Perspectives : Strengthening Communities is a FREE event being held in Batavia, NY  April 7th and 8th.

Registration for this event is free  has begun on Feb. 24, 2014.  Just go to

Or complete the form below and mail it by
Friday, March 21 to:
Center for Human Services Education
349 W. Commercial Street, Suite 2795
East Rochester, NY 14445.


Download (PDF, 1.02MB)

Creative Trauma Informed Care with Youth At-Risk for Delinquency and Gang Involvement- Payment Page

Thank you for choosing CCNY for all of your training needs.  By selecting Buy Now you will be registered for the Creative Trauma Informed Care with Youth at Risk for Delinquency and Gang Involvement Training. you will receive a confirmation via email from CCNY within 2 business days.

Creative Trauma Informed Care Training

Hundreds join Health Foundation at ‘Hitting the Mark’


In a rapidly changing marketplace, more than 200 health care, behavioral health and human services professionals that wanted to know how they could best position their organization for future success joined the Health Foundation at “Hitting the Mark: Achieving Success through High Quality Services and Financial Sustainability,” November 12 and 13, 2013 in Buffalo and Syracuse, NY.

In the morning session, facilitated by Health Foundation President Ann F. Monroe and Anthony L. Suchman, M.D, MA, FACP, physician, organizational consultant and clinical professor at the University of Rochester, leadership teams heard the perspectives of consumers and health plans and participated in discussions focused on three main influences on an organization’s future:

  • Clients/Consumers/Patient/Customers
  • “Buyers” of your services (health plans and other purchasers)
  • Your own organizational attitudes and strategies for managing change

In the afternoon, attendees gained practical, hands-on tools they could use through four different interactive workshops, in two concurrent tracks.

For more information and resources from Hitting the Mark click here

Follow the conversation on twitter:

Thank You!


Thank you for sending in your registration for CCNY’s Creative Trauma Informed Care with Youth at Risk for Delinquency and Gang Involvement. You will be receiving a confirmation from CCNY within 2 business days.

Program Evaluation Certificate Course

CCNY is  pleased to announce the new Program Evaluation Certificate course being offered by UB’s School of Social Work.  This course will be taught by CCNY’s  Heidi Milch and Brian Pagkos.  The 2013 program will be held at CCNY on September 13, September 20, October 4, and October 18, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm each day. Registration will open shortly the School of Social Work’s Continuing Education page!

There are scholarship opportunities available for Erie and Niagara County staff from the Peter and Elizabeth C.  Tower Foundation.

Testimonial about Community Connections of New York:

“One of the most rewarding collaborations we experienced is with Community Connections of New York. We are most grateful for all the assistance given to us in the development of our evaluation database system. We are finally able to see whether or not we are making a difference in our drug/alcohol prevention education efforts…”Lucy Candelario, Executive Director, West Side Community Services

Empowermee and Burchfield Penney Art Center Event

Events, News, Uncategorized

Being There: How Mass Incarceration Imprisons Communities

Thursday, May 16, 2013

6pm- Burchfiled Penney Art Center


Bruce Jackson, Dominoes on Death Row, Texas, 1979. printed13x19
According to the New York Times, among African-Americans who have grown up during the era of mass incarceration, one in four has had a parent locked up at some point during childhood. For black men in their 20s and early 30s without a high school diploma, the incarceration rate is so high – nearly 40 percent nationwide – that they’re more likely to be behind bars than to have a job.No one denies that some people belong in prison but mass incarceration increases poverty, disrupts families and children left behind are more likely to suffer academically and socially.

How do we create a penal system more effective for society as a whole? Give a second chance to thousands of young ex-offenders transitioning back into their communities?

Join McMillan Empowerment Enterprise and the Burchfield Penney for a discussion on crime, custody and community at the Center,1300 Elmwood Avenue, Thursday, May 16, 6 PM. The evening kicks with an exclusive guided tour of the Being There: Bruce Jackson, Photographs 1962-2012 exhibition. Bruce Jackson will share of his award-winning work and experiences documenting prison systems on view at the Center.

A panel discussion moderated by Buffalo News columnist Rod Watson follows:

Karima Amin, founder/director, Prisoners Are People Too

Ron Stewart, Ph.D., SUNY Buffalo State Sociology Department

Umar Adeyola – founder, HEART (Helping Empower At-Risk Teens)

Alfonso Carter – ex-offender and successful entrepreneur

Please RSVP to no later than Tuesday, May 14. Donations to the Burchfield Penney Art Center are welcome.