Upcoming and Recent Events

 somerset west  Fighting Vicarious Trauma with Collective Care

10AM-4PM Tuesday, June 19th
Chinese Alliance Church,
22 Eccles, Ottawa
RSVP: Coming Soon

In this experiential workshop we’ll address:

  • Organizational cultures of resiliency
  • Understandings & critiques of “Trauma” and behaviours: Intrusion/hyperarousal/avoidance
  • Normalizing our responses to oppressive experiences
  • Self regulation and co-regulation
  • Resident-centered ways of understanding burnout and vicarious trauma
  • Relations of respect and dignity between staff as a resource against burnout
  • Responding to death: differentiating tragic death from death as part of life
  • A frame for Debriefing and commitments to collective care
  • Strategies for sustainability: Resistance, resilience and “Traumatic Growth”
  • Connections on the “practice as research” we are creating

Justice-Doing in Community Work and Therapy: Solidarity Groups & Collective Care

This workshop will be informed by a spirit of solidarity and social justice activism. Vikki will illuminate her stance for an ethic of Justice-Doing as a frame for community work and therapy. With this, she will invite and challenge us to consider the intersections, tensions and affinities between community work practice and social justice activism that encompasses: centering ethics, doing solidarity, addressing power, fostering collective sustainability, critically engaging with language and structuring safety.

June 22, 2018 (9:30am to 4:30pm)
Family Service Toronto Building

355 Church St. Toronto


Recovery Capital Conference of Canada   Keynote: Vicarious Resistance: Inspiring HOPE as an Ethical Position

September 6th 11:00 AM
New Westminster BC

I will differentiate vicarious trauma & Burn Out from the spiritual and ethical pain that our work engenders when we are unable to provide dignity and social justice with the people we want to be useful to. We’ll look at our solidarity and ‘shouldering each other up in dark times immersed in mean spirited politics and neo-liberalism. I will invite us to consider the transformations our work and the people we work alongside co-create. We’ll explore our relationship to a believed in hope, and resisting charitable and patronizing self-care prescriptions to workers. We will also consider a frame for Resisting Burn out that is client-centered, based on how we treat people, and resist pathologizing ourselves and other workers as mentally ill and deficient…and that’s going to bring us to The Zone of Fabulousness…


institute of narrative of Therapy

Witnessing resistance to “trauma” and interpersonal & political violence; a social justice approach

London, Manchester and Edinburgh, October 2018

In this experiential workshop Vikki presents an alternative approach to work with ‘trauma’, from an ethical stance for justice-doing, which focuses on the resistance of victims of violence and oppression. This is as opposed to attending primarily to the details of the trauma, which can be re-traumatizing for both the person and the front-line worker. Resisting the neutral and medicalized language of ‘trauma’, we will name rape culture, torture and political violence, poverty and other systemic contexts of social injustice that are often hidden in individualized talk. Honouring the wisdom of the people we work alongside in their resistance to abuses of power brings forward their agency and wisdom. Locating sites of resistance, and witnessing the resistance capacities of the people we work alongside, can create identities of knowledge, autonomy and strength, as opposed to victim/survivor identities, or other spoiled identities.

Workshop participants will:

  • Engage in practice examples of a witnessing approach to work with people who have suffered violence, and look at the questions and dialogues that bring forward the person’s resistance, wisdom, knowledges, courage…;
  • Consider alternative understandings of ‘trauma’, including seeing PTSD as a potential site of resistance;
  • Locate problems of ‘trauma’ in the social world where we have not delivered on a ‘just’ society;
  • Explore their own acts of resistance against power-over and domination;
  • Learn how to structure safety for therapeutic conversations as a foundation of the work;
  • Develop witnessing practices that offer new meanings of traumatic past events;
  • Participate in a Solidarity Group practice that resists ‘vicarious trauma’ and ‘burn out’ in our work and enacts “shouldering each other up” in solidarity with collective care.

London: October 1st & 2nd 2018
Manchester: October 4th & 5th 2018
Edinburgh: October 8th 2018

(20% discount for self-funders)

2-day attendance: £200 + VAT
1-day attendance: £110 + VAT

It is possible to attend the first day of the two day workshop on its own, but it is not possible to attend the second day on its own.

cyc-logo-1Keynote Address: 2018 Child and Youth Care Conference

May 2-4, 2018

Conference on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, specifically the Musqueam peoples, commonly known as Richmond, BC.


Resisting Vicarious Trauma With Collective Care & Justice-Doing

9AM — 4PM on May 4, 2018
La Perla Ballroom, New Westminster, BC
810 Quayside Dr #204, New Westminster, BC

In this experiential workshop, Vikki offers an alternative approach to the notion of vicarious trauma and worker burnout.

Folks working with people struggling with addiction, poverty, violence and oppression are often told that they will “burn out”, and that is the connection to the client’s pain that ‘traumatizes’ them. Contrary to this, is a story of sustainability— how our collective work sustains us, nourishes our hope, invites us to honour the resistance and strength that we witness in the people who we work alongside, and allows us to work congruently with our ethics.

This experiential workshop will address our collective ethics and what is at the heart of our work, and practices of collective care as opposed to self-care. Workers will be invited to begin to build their own “Solidarity Team”; examining who stands alongside them, what ideas and practices sustain them, and how they might act to help each other when burnout attacks.

Register online

Northeast Regional Victim Services

Northeast Regional Victim Services

Turning burnout into collective care

This invigorating and powerful one-day workshop offers an alternative approach to the notion of worker burnout. Those working with people struggling are often told that they will “burn out”. Contrary to this is a story of sustainability; how our collective work sustains us, nourishes our hope, invites us to honor the resistance and strength we witness. This experiential workshop will address our collective ethics and practices of collective care as opposed to self care.

Friday, April 20th in Melfort, Saskatchewan

Kerry Vickar Center
Workshop 9am-4pm
Registration Fee: $50
Registration Deadline: March 15, 2018
Includes snacks and Lunch

For more information on this event or to register please contact Victim Services at 306-878-3819 or email Tanya.brakstad@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Saturday, April 21 in Tisdale, Saskatchewan

Tisdale Civic Center
Workshop 9am-4pm-lunch included
Volunteer Appreciation Event 5pm-8pm
Supper at 5:30pm
Registration Deadline: March 15, 2018

Please email Tanya.brakstad@rcmp-grc.gc.ca to sign up for this event

Canadian Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (CANAC)

29th Annual Conference: Acting Up, Reducing Harm: Clinical Practice and Advocacy in the Context of Crisis

April 5-7 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia
Keynote Address April 6

Be the Change Poster logo

Be the Change Conference

March 16 and 17 2018

New Westminster, BC

Keynote Address: Resisting Vicarious Trauma with Collective Care and Justice Doing


Responding to Trauma in Brief Settings: Witnessing Resistance

Part of the Windz Brief and Narrative Therapy Workshop Series
February 1 & 2, 2018
Oakville, Ontario

Many counsellors and therapists are working within therapeutic contexts such as walk-in counselling clinics and short-term services where brief encounters with people occur. People who come to consult with us in these brief settings might come and talk about histories of trauma, oppression, suffering, violence, bullying and other experiences of social injustice. In these situations counsellors must think clearly and differently about how to respond in ways that are non-pathologizing and instead honour acts of resistance.

In all of our work and especially in brief contacts, we can be mindful of the social and political context of injustice and resist the social construction of pathologizing and marginalizing identities. Honouring and witnessing the wisdom of people in their responses to trauma, brings forward their agency, and can create identities of knowledge, autonomy and strength, as opposed to victim/survivor identities, or other “spoiled identities”. We have an opportunity within a single session to shift meaning and identity stories in ways that can be very impactful of people’s lives going forward.

In this workshop you will learn about:

  • Alternative understandings of trauma & oppression that include acts of resistance
  • Structuring safety immediately in brief therapy encounters
  • Witnessing practices that offer new meanings of past traumatic events
  • Questions that come from an ethical stance of justice-doing in our conversations
  • Connecting private pain to public social and political contexts in ways that reduce isolation and ‘othering’ stories


AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario (ABRPO)  and the Front Line Worker Support Group

Learning from One Another

Wednesday January 31st, 2018 Central Toronto
Health Centre 955 Queen St. East 4th fl

Responding to the opiate epidemic: Sustainability & Shouldering each other up

Workshop for Managers and Supervisors morning 9-12

In this experiential session, Vikki will explore organizational cultures of resiliency, “trauma” and related behaviours (intrusion / hyperarousal/ avoidance) and useful ways of understanding burnout and vicarious trauma. We will look at our responses to death- differentiating tragic death from death as part of life.
Strategies for sustainability will include discussion on:

  • Relations of respect and dignity between staff as a resource against burnout
  • A frame for debriefing and commitments to collective care
  • Resistance, resilience and “Traumatic Growth”
  • Connections on the “practice as research” we are creating

Responding to the Darkness in Our Work

Workshop for Front Line Workers afternoon 1-4
Vikki will lay a foundation for understanding responses to loss and hardship in our work from a place that holds the dignity and respect for workers and our community members. This will look at the social structures of oppression and structural violence that make up the landscape of our work, and look at the psychological ideas that aren’t so useful, like vicarious trauma, as they blame us for not being “resilient” enough.

  • Instead we’ll consider responses to loss that can give a foot up on being harmed and disconnected in the work and honour our humanity and our pretty fabulous ways of “Showing up & Doing the hard things”.
  • We’ll also consider Holding on and Letting Go, strategies for honouring clients’ lives and our own best work held in a tension alongside the pain of loss.
  • Finally, we’ll strategize ways to creatively and collectively respond to our heart break and suffering that are generative and hope filled.

Workshops are free of charge. No registration necessary

For more information, please contact:
Yvette Perreault
Director ABRPO