find the latest legal job
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Solicitor - Insurance and Health
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Newcastle NSW 2300
· Dynamic organisation · Outstanding career opportunity
View details
Solicitors Barrister and Registered Migration Agents
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· We are an established multi-disciplinary practice located in North Sydney. ·
View details
Commercial/Projects Lawyer (4+ PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Fantastic, supportive working environment · Wide variety of work, direct client contact
View details
Open discussion on vicarious trauma needed

Open discussion on vicarious trauma needed

discussion

While mental health issues are usually kept private in the legal industry, there is scope for an open discussion on vicarious trauma generally, according to the Victorian Bar health and wellbeing committee chair.

Vicarious trauma occurs when legal professionals feel empathic engagement towards clients who themselves have suffered trauma.

Speaking with Lawyers Weekly, the Victorian Bar health and wellbeing committee chair Phil Corbett said: “It's not direct trauma that you're dealing with, or exposure to direct trauma, but vicarious trauma in the sense that it's secondary, if you like.”

Because of the nature of work many lawyers and barristers deal with, Mr Corbett said vicarious trauma is an issue for the profession.

"I think that it affects all lawyers at some stage. The level to which it affects them is difficult to assess, but it’s certainly an issue that all lawyers have to deal with,” he said.

Mr Corbett believes there's not enough open discussion about vicarious trauma at the Bar because it is such a private issue.

“Often barristers or lawyers will want to keep their issues private but I think there's certainly scope for an open discussion about the issue generally, rather than doing it on an individual level.”

He also said that more training and education on mental health issues would be a benefit.

“I certainly would encourage there to be more education about mental health issues, whether it be vicarious trauma in particular or other issues as well,” he said.

Mr Corbett said the Victorian Bar has a counselling service that’s available to all members of the Bar and their families free of charge for a period of time.

“If a barrister feels that they have an issue they are encouraged to use the counselling service, it doesn't matter what sort of mental health issue it is, it's any mental health issue or any personal issue,” he said.

When asked if other Bar associations should provide something similar, Mr Corbett said: “It’s a matter for each association to consider the needs of its members but certainly we've found that it's one that's used reasonably frequently.”

He added: “It’s an important service to offer and provide and I think a lot of our members have benefited.”

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Commends
Jul 27 2017
Legal body commends funding for independent crime stats
The Queensland Law Society has applauded the state government’s commitment to fund a new independe...
Laptop
Jul 27 2017
Virtual marketplace to bolster lawyers’ skills
An industry-first online symposium and virtual marketplace has issued a call to action to legal prof...
International
Jul 26 2017
‘Dynamic developments’ to impact Aus international arbitration
Justin Gleeson SC has spoken out about what Australia can learn from current developments overseas o...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...