The Rabbinical Council of Victoria (RCV) recently held a Community Reference Group (CRG) forum which addressed the topic of Vicarious Trauma and its impact on faith leaders hosted at Caulfield Shule. The CRG program brings faith leaders from the broader Victorian Community to gather on a
regular basis to discuss and share ideas and explore relevant and mutual social challenges facing the Victorian Community where input and guidance from religious leadership would be of benefit.
Dr. Rebecca Diehm, clinical psychologist and lecturer at Deakin University, shared some of the latest research on the topic and facilitated discussion amongst the faith leaders in attendance.
Rebecca thanked the RCV for inviting her to facilitate the session and commented that “It was wonderful to have such interested and engaged leaders reflecting and discussing their experience of secondary exposure to trauma, how this relates to their role and their faith, and sharing their personal management strategies amongst the group”.
Rabbi Daniel Rabin, President of the RCV, presented the findings from his Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy thesis which explored Vicarious Trauma in the Rabbinate and provided some suggestions and strategies for self-care. "Being a successful and caring faith leader requires engaging with people in an empathic manner. Research has shown that this does expose faith leaders to risks of Vicarious Trauma, compassion fatigue and burnout. It is therefore crucial for faith leaders to take measures that protect them from these risks and in doing so they will not only ensure self-care but also be far more effective when providing pastoral care to their congregants."
The participants enjoyed a delicious dinner and all look forward to the next RCV CRG meeting later in the year.
The RCV takes pride in their leading role of multicultural engagement between various faith leaders and thanks the Premier and the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (OMAC) who made this project possible.
Some of the Participants of the recent CRG: Rabbi Shamir Caplan (RCV Representative), Narinderpal Singh (SIKH Interfaith Council of Victoria) , Rabbi Daniel Rabin (president RCV) Makarand Bhagwat (Hindu Council of Vic) Revd Dr Janes Robertson (Angelican Diocese of Melbourne), Dr Rebecca Diehm (seessions facilitator), Peggy Page (Buddhist Council of Victoria) and Stephanie McShane (Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne)