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EMDR Group Therapy for Healthcare Workers in California

Is it burnout or vicarious trauma?

Emergency room personnel treat patients with extreme trauma (severe injuries, road accidents, assaults, rape, abuse, and gunshots) on a repeated, even daily, basis (Dominguez-Gomez & Rutledge, 2009; Morrison & Joy, 2016). Clinician burnout in healthcare is a growing concern, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on. Burnout is the prolonged physical and psychological exhaustion of a person’s work. Vicarious trauma is the experience of trauma symptoms that can result from being repeatedly exposed to other people’s trauma and their stories of traumatic events. Vicarious trauma is cumulative, building up over time.

Signs And Symptoms Of Vicarious Trauma
  • Invasive thoughts of client’s situation/distress
  • Frustration/fear/anxiety/irritability
  • Disturbed sleep/nightmares/racing thoughts
  • Problems managing personal boundaries
  • Taking on too great a sense of responsibility or feeling you need to overstep the boundaries of your role
  • Difficulty leaving work at the end of the day/noticing you can never leave on time
  • Loss of connection with self and others/loss of a sense of own identity
  • Increased time alone/a sense of needing to withdraw from others
  • Increased need to control events/outcomes/others
  • Loss of pleasure in daily activities
Signs And Symptoms Of Burnout
  • Physical and emotional stress
  • Low job satisfaction
  • Feeling frustrated by or judgmental of clients
  • Feeling under pressure, powerless and overwhelmed
  • Not taking breaks, eating on the run
  • Unable to properly refuel and regenerate
  • Frequent sick days or “mental health days”
  • Irritability and anger


During epidemics, 1 in 6 healthcare works will develop significant stress symptoms.

Source: Carmassi, C., Foghi, C., Dell'Oste, V., Cordone, A., Bertelloni, C. A., Bui, E., & Dell'Osso, L. (2020). PTSD symptoms in healthcare workers facing the three coronavirus outbreaks: What can we expect after the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychiatry Research, 292, 113312.

Burnout symptoms can lead to Secondary Traumatic stress. Requires treatment, and not just self-care activities.

Galek, K., Flannelly, K.J., Greene, P.B. et al. Burnout, Secondary Traumatic Stress, and Social Support. Pastoral Psychol 60, 633–649 (2011).

Even before the pandemic, 16% of emergency physicians self-reported symptoms of PTSD.

Source: DeLucia, J. A., Bitter, C., Fitzgerald, J., Greenberg, M., Dalwari, P., & Buchanan, P. (2019). Prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Emergency Physicians in the United States. The western journal of emergency medicine.

EMDR Integrative Group Therapy for Ongoing Traumatic Stress Benefits

  • A culturally humble approach to addressing traumatic events
  • Reduces stigma associated with mental; health services; decreases symptoms, no adverse effect post-treatment or worsening symptoms
  • Suitable for large scale, post-traumatic situations & chaotic conditions or small groups
  • Minimally intrusive; memories are reprocessed visually through art and not vocalized with group
  • Cost-effective

Who is a Good Fit for the EMDR Group?

Healthcare professionals in hospitals have been impacted by working with COVID-19 patients or healthcare workers experiencing symptoms.

EMDR Integrative Group Topics

  • Challenges of patient care experience
  • Challenges of the work environment
  • Personal challenges outside of work
  • Integrating Self-Care


  • March 25 & 26th, 2023 9:00A-12:00P (VIRTUAL)
  • June 24 & 25th, 2023 9:00A-12:00P (VIRTUAL)
  • September 23 & 24th, 2023 9:00A-12:00P (VIRTUAL)

Cost: $600

Space is limited and your session is confirmed once paid is made.Refund available within 30 days of booking, but not within 15 days of session start dates.

How to Schedule:

Email to schedule Group EMDR with dates of choice. Intake paperwork and a video link to join the session will be sent to you

Frequently Asked Questions

No, but you must be in the State of California on those session dates. Yes, even if you are visiting for the weekend.

It is highly recommended that you make the space to attend both of those days. This group has been reformatted from four weekly sessions to better suit health workers' schedules.

You may get activated and we provide grounding techniques in each session. EMDR therapy has been used for a long time and there have not been any reports of any dangerous side effects.

This format is a great alternative for people who have time constraints. The three-hour session is equivalent to three weeks. Some find they like longer sessions to work through things without having to wait a week for the next session.