Trauma and Our Digital Selves

Trauma and Our Digital Selves
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Module 1
Recorded on: 2021-10-05
Unit 1Slide Deck: Trauma and Our Digital Selves
Unit 2Transcript: Trauma and Our Digital Selves
Unit 3Workbook: Trauma and Our Digital Selves
Unit 4Recording: Trauma and Our Digital Selves

In a survey of 1000 Americans, it’s been found that on average, people check their phones 262 times a day. This only confirms the impact of technology and social media in our lives. For most of the part, it makes our lives easier and information more accessible. But there are instances when it actually can be a negative thing. This webinar will look into the intersection of our digital presence and trauma and ways to facilitate healing amidst digital distractions and triggers.

This session is led by Callie Stewart, the Director of Strategic Engagement and Partnerships at the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA). She is a Licensed Master Social Worker who has developed training curricula presented to a diverse audience of victim assistance professionals. She manages psychosocial support for special-interest groups and has clinical experience providing trauma-informed therapy to children and families.

Specifics of the discussion are on:

  • Statistics that emphasize how our lives are deeply immersed in technology and how our devices serve as an extension of ourselves.
  • The concept of the filter bubble that demonstrates…
    • How our interests, online behavior, and network is leveraged and defines what is shown and offered to us in an effort to keep us engaged in a social media platform.
    • How this social media platform business model influences our opinion and makes money out of our data.
  • The parts of the brain, each part’s function, how this work together to process information, and the difference in the process between a non-threatened and a threatened brain.
  • How trauma is processed as a sensory input and the outcomes that manifest as trauma response and triggers.
  • What mirror neurons are and how its function relates to empathy and vicarious trauma.
  • The three kinds of trauma and differentiating each based on the means of exposure.
  • How social media can affect direct trauma, re-traumatization, and indirect trauma – and the different social media activities, content and elements that may trigger it.
  • The positive and helpful benefits of social media and technology for survivors to facilitate their healing and overcome trauma.
  • Tips surrounding consumption and use of media and social media to lessen the probability of exposure to triggers and re-traumatization.
  • The importance of educating and empowering victims and survivors with information so they may use these online platforms with discernment to make the right choice for themselves.
  • Understanding the dynamics of media coverage, how they capitalize on fear, and how their tactics end up marginalizing other victims that also need a platform.
  • The benefits and risks of working with the media and the importance of it being done in a mindful way.
  • How trauma robs victims of power and control and how we must work on restoring these using all means and platforms available, including technology, so they can fully heal and recover.

Questions and comments during the Q&A are about:

  • Resources that discuss how social media affects victims and empathy.
  • The difference between secondary and vicarious trauma.
  • Whether the nature of traumatic incidents should be the same to be considered vicarious trauma.
  • Finding out about the death of a loved one in a public forum.
  • How being empathetic can make one more likely to experience trauma.
  • The possibility of experiencing secondary or vicarious trauma from watching violence in TV or movies.
  • When to not recommend someone from engaging with the media.


Audience Comments

  • “Importance of boundaries; benefits and risks sharing with survivors. Thank you for your expertise and explication of the information.” — Jane
  • “This is one of the best webinars I’ve seen from Justice Clearinghouse. The presenter was excellent, I commend her ability to get a lot of information into a short presentation, succinctly and thoroughly. The slides were easy to read, expertly designed, with clear messages about how to help victims with their media usage. Thank you!!!!” — Phillip
  • “The resources were great and the information on how to consider social media and trauma. Callie was fantastic!” — Sarah
  • “The presentation kept me completely focused on all that Callie spoke about. I find this presentation very informative and well delivered with clarity. Thanks to everyone that have contributed to this Webinar.” — Valerie
  • “I found it all valuable, especially the information on second-hand trauma.” — Stefan



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





Additional Resources
1 year ago
Online Course: An Introduction to Trauma Informed Victim Advocacy
The way we support victims and survivors can shape how they recover and move on from the most challe […]
2 years ago
After the Webinar: Trauma and Our Digital Selves. Q&A with Callie Stewart
Webinar presenter Callie Stewart answered a number of your questions after her presentation, Trauma […]
4 years ago
Victim Rights in a Post Epstein World
Webinar Video Clip: Victim Rights in a Post Epstein World It took decades for victims to fight […]
4 years ago
Working with Childhood Trauma: Tools for Justice Professionals
This is the third installment of Duane Bowers’ Child Trauma webinar series. It started with a cour […]
4 years ago
Growth as a Post-Trauma Response
At one point or another, we all are exposed to events that may warrant a trauma response. It could b […]
4 years ago
First Amendment, Social Media and Employee Discipline
Most of the world is now online. This definitely altered our reality, changing how humans deal with […]