Foundations support worthy causes like homelessness, victims of crime and high morbidity medical fields. However, rarely are the professionals who are called to work in these fields of high emotional demand supported directly. Our training revitalizes and saves the careers of care-providers.

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General Information

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Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
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930 S. Butler Way
Lakewood, CO 80226
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Mission Statement

VitalHearts | The Resiliency Training Initiative is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is caring for care-providers. Secondary or vicarious trauma is a significant, although hidden problem for those in our society who treat the emotionally traumatized. Our program, the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training offers a comprehensive approach to Secondary Trauma and Compassion Fatigue.

Organization History

VitalHearts | The Resiliency Training Initiative, a Denver, Colorado Trauma Training Center has as its mission caring for care-providers. Henry Tobey, Ph.D., VitalHearts' founder, was selected in 1998 by the US Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime to develop a program to respond to the secondary traumatic consequences of victim service work. That program, the Vicarious Trauma Training (1999), represented the first effort by the Justice Department to address this problem which affects all who work in victim service professions. Following the federal grant, Dr. Tobey, developed a more comprehensive program, the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training. This new training serves a broader population. It is available to those who work with traumatized individuals regardless of the cause of trauma.

The deep exposure to all the suffering afflicting their patients or clients multiplied case after case, has the likely effect of traumatizing care-providers. Of course, unlike the primary sufferers of trauma, it is not direct. Care providers are not bloodied, nor do they lose loved ones, but instead they suffer an accretion of exposure to the traumas, many of them violent or life-threatening, suffered by those they treat. That, in turn, diminishes care provider effectiveness, creates compassion fatigue, and shortens their tenure. It is important to acknowledge the great emotional rewards of this work. That is the reason it is so worth treating vicarious trauma rather than just accepting the departure of care-providers.

The healers need healing. Secondary or Vicarious Trauma can profoundly impact professionals through emotional depletion, depression and anxiety, a sense of isolation or helplessness, anger, irritability, and cynicism. These are not problems which overtake less competent care providers. It is, ironically, those with the greatest capacity for feeling and expressing empathy who are most at risk for secondary trauma.


Participant Reviews of the Secondary Trauma Resiliency Training©

- I approach my work from a new, healthier mindset. This has had significant impact on me both professionally and personally. Professionally, I'm more protected yet more available to my clients.
- By far the most valuable thing I've done in the past 15 years, including individual therapy.
- I believe the potential impact of this training… is profound.
- Helped define the reasons why I should stay in the domestic violence field.
- This was one of those rare occasions I felt safe & secure enough to divulge sensitive feelings to a group.
- The training has given me the tools to stay at my job. My sense of purpose is renewed and I'm better able to see my clients as unique. I had lost that and viewed them as a "function of the job".
- A certain calm came to me as I realized how shared my feelings and experiences were. In my work now I'm more centered with increased concentration.
- The best training I have received on taking care of myself.
- I would recommend that anyone - or everyone - involved in my field have the opportunity to attend.
- I am better at setting boundaries for myself. I am getting more satisfaction from my job.
- Was a light switch that turned on for me. I've known something was missing, just didn't know what it was!
- Whew!! I'm reeling from the impact! Thank you.
- Awesome training! So amazing. I have been recommending it to everyone I know!
- My life feels fuller after having attended.
- When my work gets me down, I refer back to the training and it grounds me. I think the training would be useful on a yearly basis.
- In 30 years in the mental health field, this is the best training I've attended.
- The third most important experience of my life - next to the day of my wedding and the birth of my child.
- I can be more of a leader to my co-workers and lead by example. I think I'm kinder. And I'm being kinder to myself, enjoying the people in my life more.
- Very life changing. A new sense of freedom.
- This training was a true gift. I feel that I can been given the space to be appreciated and to appreciate. I felt my defenses melt away and feel in touch with my heart again.
- Straight to the heart of what I struggle with. This is what I've been searching for in every other "Stress Management" or "Self-Care" training I've attended.
- This training will allow me to keep promises I made to myself.

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