Beyond Self-Care: The CE-CERT model for Secondary Trauma and Burnout

Beyond Self-Care: The CE-CERT model for Secondary Trauma and Burnout
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2022-06-15
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Beyond Self-Care
Unit 2 Transcript: Beyond Self-Care
Unit 3 Workbook: Beyond Self-Care
Unit 4 Recording: Beyond Self-Care

Anyone who has experienced vicarious trauma (VT) or secondary trauma (ST) and burnout, or is helping others with these, know too well the conscious effort it takes to manage let alone overcome these. This webinar explores a model that goes beyond and is seemingly counterintuitive to the usual approaches and tools to manage VT, ST, and burnout.

Leading the discussion is Dr. Michael Gomez. He is currently on staff at Bradley Hospital Lifespan Institute, one of the teaching hospitals for the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.

Specifics of this session include:

  • The reason why individuals working in the helping profession continue their work in the field despite the stressful if not dangerous nature of their job.
  • Defining and differentiating between vicarious trauma, secondary trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout.
  • A rundown of the most common signs/effects of vicarious/secondary trauma – those that are similar to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, and those specific to VT/ST.
  • Examples of the most common – both healthy and unhealthy – coping mechanisms for those dealing with VT/ST.
  • The most common approaches being taught to people in public safety and helping professions to address the VT/ST and burnout that comes with the job.
  • Why the “Can’t take the heat” tend to be the default and the less than favorable outcomes of this approach.
  • The commonly cited benefits of self-care, and the research that established the lack of foundation of self-care’s effectiveness.
  • The potential adverse consequences of self-care and how those who practice self-care are more negatively impacted and have struggled during the pandemic.
  • The concept of trauma stewardship as a gateway to effective secondary trauma and burnout intervention.
  • The Components for Enhancing Career Engagement and Reducing Trauma (CE-CERT) model.
    • The two pillars of the CE-CERT model to effectively reduce trauma based on existing literature on PTSD, positive psychology, and treatments that involve engagement enhancement.
    • The four CE-CERT blasphemies that go against what is commonly and traditionally taught about managing compassion fatigue, secondary trauma, and work-life balance.
    • An exercise to apply CE-CERT to those working in helping professions to gain a better understanding of their motivation which can serve as a healing and management tool for VT/ST and burnout.
  • Examples were shared throughout the webinar to demonstrate each of the concepts discussed and what they look like in real-life situations.

Points raised during the Q&A are about:

  • How ST/VT is a virus and burnout as an immune deficiency/compromise.
  • Training and getting certified for CE-CERT.
  • Implementing the CE-CERT within agencies.



Other Webinars with this Speaker


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Resources and Handouts



Audience Comments

  • “Self-care ends up a way that we blame ourselves for our burnout. I’ve felt this for a while but couldn’t put it into words so this really validated my own thoughts about dealing with secondary trauma and burnout.” — Aimee
  • “More of this! The tools he provided were excellent.” — Julia
  • “Loved Dr. Gomez’s presentation – I liked that he was “real” – The example he gave at the beginning about the “textbook” answer for care, i.e. sleep, eating, etc. is not a reality for most; I’m glad he talked about “how to do it better than yesterday” — LaDonna
  • “Dr. Gomez was amazing. I would appreciate further webinars from him. Nothing on this very important topic has been helpful until now, and that is thanks to his knowledge and skill. He was also very engaged with the group, despite it being listen-only.” — Rachel
  • “Today’s webinar was uplifting and reminded me about self care.” — Ray
  • “It was nice to not hear the standard cookie-cutter responses and hear some “real” advice. As a Gulf War vet, a child of a Vietnam vet, and a child welfare worker, I could relate to Michael’s stories and feel I took something away from the training. I actually paid attention for most of the presentation and didn’t multi-task or scroll on Facebook! In today’s virtual world, that is a sign of a good presentation! Thank you. I was not able to download the handouts.” — Renee
  • “I loved his fresh perspective on addressing secondary trauma and taking it seriously, just as we would our clients.” — Andrea
  • “Thank you for the laughs. Humor is so needed when discussing serious topics. I would definitely take any trainings. I loved the exercise which made me think who would I be if I wasn’t advocating.” — Danielle
  • “Dr. Gomez presents in a factual, humorous, personal way ~ that engages the listener. Slide presentations, questions, and information were fresh, pertinent, and quite important in understanding exactly what effects trauma can do; what is our motivation (personally) for choosing our type of career and its impacts. The terminology provided was ‘spot-on’. Love his sharing about his uncles – and the ‘Jack’ coping traditions. Honest. Thank you!” — Melissa
  • “Dr. Gomez’s presentation was absolutely 100% enthralling. He is extremely knowledgeable on this topic but also adds a very real and endearing human component that is relatable.” — Stephanie
  • “Dr. Gomez’s presentation was incredible! I have been to or listened to many conventional trauma self-help courses and this was very unique and pragmatic! Thank you!” — Donald






NACP and D-SAACP Advocates can earn 1 CEU by attending this webinar through the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)® and the DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP). Founded in 1975, the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States and is the recognized leader in victim advocacy, education and credentialing.  To learn more about NOVA, visit




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