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Vicarious trauma: a normal part of lawyering

Vicarious trauma: a normal part of lawyering

By Emma Muse

Health Wellbeing Young Persons 


We’ve all been there – you’re working with a client who has been deeply traumatised and they disclose something that makes you feel…weird. Or maybe you’re familiarising yourself with a file when you happen upon a disturbing photograph of an injury. You press on, but something doesn’t sit right. Maybe not at the time, maybe later when you’re on the way home or cooking dinner and you can’t get that thought from your head. You start to question why these things happen, or maybe even why you studied law in the first place. If you’ve ever felt this way, you might have experienced vicarious trauma. Lawyers are already overrepresented when it comes to mental illness.1

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