"In the case of a sudden
loss of cabin pressure,
put an oxygen mask on yourself first,
before attending to others"
(from the CDC 04.06.2020)
Things you can do to support yourself
breaks from watching, reading, or listening
to news stories, including social media.
Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be
of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or
meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced
meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of
sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
to unwind. Try to do some other activities
with others. Talk with people you trust
[from a distance] about your concerns and
how you are feeling.
healthcare provider if stress gets in the
way of your daily activities for several
days in a row.
“Some individuals can
tolerate the uncertainty of the legal process,
while others find it overwhelming and
maddening. For these individuals, litigation
is a traumatic experience creating sleepless
nights and agonizing days filled with
obsessive thinking, panic attacks, and fear.
Intrusive thoughts of the legal case can
invade daily activities and disrupt evening
dreams. It is as though time has stopped for
everything else ….”
Cohen, L.J. & Vesper, J.H.
(2001). Forensic Stress Disorder.
The International Journal on the Biology of
Stress, 25(1), 1-21.
and vicarious trauma among family law
The work that we do
is not easy. It pulls at the heart strings,
calls in the middle of the night, and sometimes
even threatens our safety.
Bow, J. N.,
Gottlieb, M. C. and Gould-Saltman, Hon.
D. J. (2015), Risks from Clients and
Opposing Parties for Family Law
Attorneys. Family Court Review, 53:
(2015), Do Not Make their Trauma Your
Trauma: Coping with Burnout as a Family
Law Attorney. Family Court Review, 53:
law lacks the black and white criteria
common elsewhere in the court system.
And family law hits close to home. Its
easy to let the lines blur between
personal and professional, allowing the
the pain and anger on one side to seep
into the other.
Vicarious trauma is one element of
burn-out. Helpers in every profession
are vulnerable to take on the pain of
Burn-out is insidious. It creeps up on
professionals slowly, often unnoticed.
It eats away at confidence and
motivation. It breeds lethargy and
depression and compassion fatigue.
Burn-out often progresses in four steps:
emotional and mental exhaustion
Shame and doubt
callousness - seeing cases rather
helplessness and crisis
Burn-out is epidemic
among family law professionals from the bench
through the front-line child protective service
and CASA workers. It undermines the quality of
our work by numbing us to other's pain and
making a child's unique potential and wishes and
needs into just another generic case.
Family Law Consulting PLLC will review work
product and hearing and trial transcripts and
evaluation reports alert to evidence of
professional burn-out to assure that all the
children's needs are met. Evidence of
oversights, failures of empathy, trivial errors,
and a callous disregard for the individual can
be reason to have a report withheld or sealed
from further scrutiny.
A bibliography of
resources regarding burn-out, vicarious trauma
and compassion fatigue is provided here
Read more here:
Pickar, D. B.
(2007). On being a child custody
evaluator: Professional and personal
challenges, risks, and rewards. Family
Court Review, 45(1), 103-115.
Burak; Sener, Mustafa Talip; Esin, Ibrahim
Selcuk; Ançi, Yüksel; Sapmaz, Şermin Yalin
(2014). Does working with child abuse
cases affect professionals’ parenting and
the psychological well-being of their
children? Journal of Trauma &
Dissociation, Vol 15(5), 557-571.
Bride, B. E.,
Jones, J. L., Macmaster, S. A. (2007).
Correlates of secondary traumatic stress
in child protective services workers.
Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work,
R., & Turpin, G. (2003). Vicarious
traumatization: Implications for the
mental health of health workers?
Clinical Psychology Review, 23(3),
Mathieu (2009). Signs and Symptoms of
Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma
This is sound advice
no matter who you are.
Self-care means refueling so that you are able
to give to others without depleting yourself.
Self-care is the remedy for burn-out and an
important model for our colleagues and our
Family Law Consulting, PLLC, will alert you to
the signs and symptoms of vicarious trauma,
compassion fatigue and burn-out as they appear
in the interest of assuring the highest quality,
child-centered work and the professional's
Family Law Consulting's work product review and
consultation to counsel in preparation for
deposition routinely includes review of the
deponent's continuing professional education and
participation in routine collegial consultation,
two common means of minimizing compassion
fatigue and burn-out.
Read more here:
Morgillo, L. (2015), Do Not Make
their Trauma Your Trauma: Coping with
Burnout as a Family Law Attorney. Family
Court Review, 53: 456–473.
I. D. (2000). Custody battle burnout.
American Journal of Family Therapy,