Vicarious Trauma Training

for Legal Professionals

On Demand Training

Manage risk

Be confident your staff have the knowledge they need. The course includes a quiz and certificate of completion.

Build resilience

In this course, you will develop your own vicarious trauma resilience plan.

On demand & tailored to

the legal sector

The course is a series of bite sized, video lessons - making it easy to complete, even in a busy schedule.

Legal professionals are exposed to the trauma and suffering of others in many ways - client meetings, court testimony, video and photographic evidence. Exposure to trauma, brings the very real risk of vicarious trauma.

When legal professionals experience vicarious trauma, it can affect their mental health and capacity to deliver a service.

If you or your staff are exposed to traumatic material, it is essential to manage the risk and build resilience.

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In Person and Live Online Training

Vicarious trauma in legal professionals: understand the risk, build resilience

The content of this training is similar to the on demand version of this training.  But is allows participants to interact with each other and the trainer.  This training is perfect for when you want to encourage conversations about vicarious trauma in your team.  By the end of the training, your team will have a shared knowledge and language to address vicarious. Doing the training together, helps build a positive culture regarding managing vicarious trauma.


  • What vicarious trauma is
  • Are legal professionals really a risk?
  • Risk factors for vicarious trauma
  • The signs of vicarious trauma
  • Evidence based strategies to build resilience to vicarious trauma

Participants will also have an opportunity to develop their own vicarious trauma resilience plan.

Length: The length of this training varies depending on whether it is delivered via Zoom or in person.

Tailor:  In addition to the above the learning outcomes, there is some scope to tailor the training to your team.

More Training Testimonials

Vicarious trauma is a real risk for lawyers. It is important to pre-empt this risk and put in place protective strategies for staff in relation to this. Bernadette’s training helped our team understand the warning signs of vicarious trauma and how to look out for them not only for ourselves but also in relation to our colleagues. Bernadette’s training also allowed us to talk about issues around vicarious trauma in a more open manner and I noticed that this continued within the team even after the completion of the training day.”

Nicki Lees, Senior Associate in Social Justice Practice at Maurice Blackburn

The training was invaluable.  I felt safe to discuss my own experiences and left feeling empowered.  This was the motivation I needed to get re-inspired about my work.

Thank you so much!”

Rachel Grove, Legal Assistant

Bernadette’s session “Building resiliency to vicarious trauma” is a fantastic interactive session for all attendees. I left feeling motivated to explore and practice self-care techniques I had learned in the session to better my mental wellbeing. Following this session I felt more confident in myself in the workplace as I am able to bring my best self to work, allowing me to better assist the organisation’s clients. I learnt strategies for mental health that I wish I had been equipped with in past jobs. I would highly recommend to any employers where vicarious trauma is a potential risk to offer this session to their employees.”

Amy Trotter, Legal Assistant in Social Justice Practice at Maurice Blackburn


The seminar was practical and not infused with jargon.  Bernadette has a understanding of the legal sector.”

It was really useful to learn and then immediately implement techniques in the seminar.”

Very supportive and knowledgeable trainer.”

Several years ago, Maurice Blackburn recognised that more needed to be done in the legal profession and in the firm to protect and promote good mental health. As part of that process, we obtained the services of Bernadette Hughes to offer training about the emerging issue of vicarious trauma.

The training provided by Bernadette was offered to all staff and forms part of the induction process for new recruits.

I wholeheartedly recommend the vicarious trauma training programme offered by Bernadette. It has had a profound impact on our workplace culture at Maurice Blackburn. It has been critical to normalising the issue of managing mental health at work. In my opinion, lawyers are at a high risk of compromising their mental health because they are often high achievers, reluctant to admit fallibility, and work in stressful and sometimes adversarial situations. In addition, they often represent people who have suffered trauma.

Lawyers can be sceptical of other service providers. Bernadette is an engaging and astute presenter who communicates very well and was able to break through that scepticism very easily.

Bernadette’s training helped us to openly discuss the stresses and strains we have experienced in our work and continue to experience in a busy and dynamic law firm. In my one on one catch ups with staff, mental health and wellbeing is now a standing agenda item.

Bernadette’s training also emphasised that there is no one size fits all approach that can be adopted for each individual in managing vicarious trauma. She encouraged us to experiment with different approaches and to try to find an approach that worked for each individual. I continue to convey that message to those that I work with.

The VT training program delivered by Bernadette to Maurice Blackburn won several awards including Best Health and Wellbeing Program at the 2016 Australian HR awards. In staff engagement surveys, it was rated very highly as a major contributor to positive staff engagement.”


Josh Bornstein, Principal Lawyer Maurice Blackburn

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