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Event Tag: secondary trauma and compassion fatigue

Supporting Adoptive Parents experiencing Secondary Trauma and Compassion Fatigue

Who this is for

Adoption practitioners and managers (Voluntary Adoption Agencies, Regional Adoption Agencies, Local Authorities, and independent social workers), children’s social care services, children and family social workers, foster carers, kinship carers, designated teachers, and other professionals working with children and families.


This expert-led training will expand your knowledge on trauma and its impact on adoptive families by exploring how the neurobiology of trauma can be transferred between individuals, including the role of mirror neurons and other systemic factors that impact our ability to empathise with others.

“[I enjoyed…] the wealth of information the trainers had and informal discussions we had to build on this, really trying to involve us in virtual training.” – Atttendee, March 2023

This training will address the unique challenges faced by adoptive families, including the heightened sensitivity to traumatic experiences and the difficult decisions around disclosure and parenting. We will explore techniques and practices for managing secondary trauma without it impacting daily life and other relationships, including self-care, helping the child when they are distressed, and managing stress together through games, creativity, movement, and storytelling.

“This was really high quality training – much as I’ve has said the session was the right length for what it was, I could have done another day!” – Attendee, March 2022

Our expert speaker, David will also help build the skills and awareness necessary to intentionally act around trauma, leaning into those moments when it feels like you are ‘absorbing’ someone else’s trauma to enhance connection and mutual support. And with a focus on exploring your own trauma as a parent, you’ll be better equipped to help your adoptive child navigate their own experiences and build a stronger, more resilient family system.

You will be able to network with practitioners from other agencies, share best practice and glean new ideas.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the neurobiology of trauma and how it can be transferred between individuals
  • Recognise the challenges faced by adoptive families who experience trauma, including heightened sensitivity to traumatic experiences and the difficult decisions around disclosure and parenting.
  • Explore techniques and practices for managing secondary trauma
  • Develop skills and attitudes necessary to support families experiencing secondary trauma and compassion fatigue
  • Understand the importance of exploring your own trauma as a parent and the impact it can have on the adoptive family.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the impact of trauma on adoptive families and develop strategies to better support the family as a whole

About the trainer

Marie Wassberg

Marie is a Qualified Social Worker (B.Soc.Sc, 1999) and a qualified and accredited Cognitive Behaviour Therapist (CBT, 2003) with BABCP. Furthermore, Marie has Diplomas in: Dialectic Behaviour Therapy (DBT); DBT for Adolescents (DBT-A); DBT for Schools (STEPS-A); Trauma Focused-CBT (TF-CBT); Prolonged Exposure (PE); and EMDR. Marie has a Private Practice and is mainly working with children and adolescents. She is offering individual sessions; DBT-skills groups for adolescents; running DBT-A groups and workshops for parents; training and supervising other professionals. As a therapist, Marie has worked for over 25 years with children and adolescents who have been sexually abused, suffered from complex PTSD/trauma or experienced other kinds of trauma and/or who have displayed harmful sexual behaviours. Her client group also includes: deliberate self-harm; suicidal thoughts; depression; and anxiety among other difficulties. As a qualified Social Worker, her work has involved child protection, child-in-need, unaccompanied minors and asylum seekers. Marie also has experience of working with neurodivergent children and adolescents and those presenting with challenging behaviours.


A member of staff will be in touch with attendees one week prior to the event to share a pre-event delegate pack. If you have any questions regarding this webinar, please contact us at We will aim to answer your query within two working days.

CVAA accept online payments only. In case you do not have instant access to your company card, we suggest using your personal card instead to book a training event and claim it back with your agency in your expenses. Requesting an invoice to pay for our standard practice events is not possible.