Trauma Stewardship

An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others

A practical book that addresses compassion fatigue. The author, a trauma social worker and educator, helps others who work in the trauma field find balance and ways to sustain themselves. Readers are gently guided along a path of exploration, growth, hope and recovery. 

264 pages. ©2009.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted February 13, 2018


This book is essential reading for anyone providing services for those affected by trauma. It helped me immensely.


Review posted February 6, 2018


As an educator, I was looking forward to reading this book. It did not disappoint. There were so many practical strategies that help us take care of ourselves so we are ready to take care of our kids.


Review posted February 6, 2018


This is an excellent read for anybody working for a cause. The author clearly explains the impacts of trauma and provides excellent questions for reflection about how to balance the trauma with joy and fulfillment. I wish I had found this guidance earlier in my career!


Review posted February 5, 2018


If you are in the field of caregiving, this is the right book for you. This book will walk you through self-care strategies, will help you become aware of warning signs of burn out and compassion fatigue. It is an excellent resource to learn how to protect your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing when working with secondary trauma. I highly recommend it!


Review posted February 4, 2018


I’m a middle school counselor, and my job is to help and support my students, and what that looks like changes daily. In a helping profession, it’s not our instinct to think about ourselves and how someone else’s traumatic experiences may affect us. We do the best we can, and that often doesn’t feel good enough. This book takes a difficult topic and presents it in a humorous, relevant, and meaningful way. This is one I know I’ll re-read countless times through my career.


Review posted January 23, 2018


This is a very insightful look at the self care that is necessary to successfully work in a helping profession. This helped me realize that many things that I have shrugged off as just part of the job, but they have impacted my mental and physical health. I plan to work in the helping professions for the rest of my career, and this is a resource that I will come back to over the years to help me identify my own signs of burnout and access strategies to help me be prepared to help others.


Review posted January 17, 2018


I found this book to be heartbreaking and difficult to read because everything sounded so familiar, but also very important. Being kind to yourself and learning how to cope with the stress of exposure to trauma or traumatized clients is hard to prioritize but this book drives home the significance of doing so.


Review posted January 13, 2018


This book is great, especially for those who's careers evolve around trauma. I'm a Victims Advocate and I dove head first in this book! I'm learning lots of tips of how to care for myself while advocating for others. I plan on passing this book onto coworkers when I'm done.


Review posted December 26, 2017


Wonderful overview of sources of compassion fatigue, and recommendations for real solutions. Ever wonder why some people thrive in an environment that causes others to be significantly challenged and stressed? This book helps explain why. My only issue is that it is very dense, so don't expect it to be in your "light reading" pile. Still, very much worth getting, reading, and sharing with other professionals who may be exhibiting signs of burnout.


Review posted December 13, 2017


Very helpful book in teaching yourself to manage your health and emotions while taking care of others.


Review posted December 11, 2017


(Reviewed through an educator lens) As educators try to learn more about dealing with the trauma that students experience, they themselves become deeply effected. Resilience becomes an odd form of sustainability as staff try to do more for more students with fewer resources. Laura van Dernoot Lipsky's book addresses the critical need for self-care in the caring professions. She offers an intentional and directive approach to remake one's practices. She does so with humor, intelligence, and thoughtful reflection.

Dione Jordan

Review posted December 10, 2017


Great book!


Review posted November 17, 2017


This is a great resource for anyone that works in the helping profession. It gives good examples of ways to have self care


Review posted November 16, 2017


This book was a great tool for learning how to care for yourself while caring for others. It was written in a way that was easy to read. I think this book is great for anyone working with people/animals or the environment that requires care.


Review posted November 2, 2017


Great book. Very insightful and will be very useful in the work we do.

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Review posted October 23, 2017


This book is an amazing book to bring to light what happens with burnout, the signs and symptoms and how wide spread burnout is in our work environments. I have ordered more of these books to share with coworkers and family members. Cant say enough about this book.


Review posted October 16, 2017


I enjoyed reading this title, the personal stories shared were relevant to the topic of the chapters and the comics were a nice touch to help bring a little levity to a potentially very depressing topic.


Review posted September 1, 2017


Trauma Stewardship describes symptoms many of us feel from exposure of childhood trauma and secondary trauma through working with individuals who have experienced trauma. All is not lost, however! The second half of the book describes ways we can get in touch with ourselves through self reflection and concrete practices in order to not only cope with, but thrive in our roles.


Review posted August 30, 2017


I really appreciated how this book addresses issues that many people working in social services face. The variety of ways that the information is presented is helpful and easy to follow.


Review posted August 28, 2017


After hearing Laura speak on a couple of different occasions, it was interesting to read her ideas in print. I am looking forwarding to trying out some of her "Try this!" ideas in the back of the book with colleagues from my school district to continue to move this work forward for us as a cohort.


Review posted August 25, 2017


I can't tell you how excited I was to get this book. The content is so rich and valuable, I think it will be my new bible! I wish I could get 5 more copies to hand out to friends


Review posted August 21, 2017


This book really is fantastic. Has practical tips that I am sure I will actually find useful once I leave grad school, but I really found the first person anecdotal stories from professionals in the field the most helpful part of this book. Made me feel a little less alone out there when I'm at work.


Review posted August 16, 2017


I enjoyed this book it was very easy to relate to and I am going to reread this over and over to learn ways on how not to become overwhelmed. I feel that it is important to know the feelings you are having and not ignore them in order to give the best care possible. You need to be open to your own health first and take breaks often to not become burned out.


Review posted August 5, 2017


Trauma Stewardship glances at strong and necessary insight into taking care of others while taking care of yourself. Compared to optimism and pessimism it relates the well-known burnout (half-empty) with the following your own advice/practice (half-full). Have you ever wondered what the biopsychosocial approach looked like from both sides? Caring for others and yourself takes all sides and angles from our lives. We need to continue with a holistic, inclusive, trauma-informed, diverse, and client-centered approach to health care and model our own interventions alongside our clientele.


Review posted July 25, 2017


This is a must-have for anyone who provides trauma-informed care. This book can help in recognizing the impact your work may be having on you. The author offers ideas for mitigating the effects of T-I practice. An excellent book to refer to often.


Review posted July 22, 2017


This book provides great insight and opportunities for self reflection as a "trauma steward". I look forward to using it in my future work!


Review posted July 11, 2017


There is an absolute reason this book is part of many MSW and counseling program curriculums! The section on the warning signs of trauma and the guide map of how to handle it are a must for those who have spent any amount of time in the "helping" field.


Review posted July 7, 2017


Could not put this one down!

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Review posted June 24, 2017


I work in a prison as a counselor working with men to lower recidivism rates. In working with these men I often hear childhood stories that have significant trauma. This book allowed me to see several areas of my life that have been impacted that were unseen to me prior to reading this book. It has practical tools you can use to assist you so you can effectively take care of yourself and the people you get to work with. The animations were wonderful, this is a must read for the helping community!


Review posted June 20, 2017


As a Residence Life employee who works with students experiencing all sorts of trauma as they enter their college careers, this book was an excellent resource. I can't wait to use it with my students and student staff next year!


Review posted June 5, 2017


What an amazing book! If you work with anyone in a trauma setting or have someone close to you who works in a trauma setting, this book needs to be in your library.


Review posted April 28, 2017


Well written. I have seen the author speak in person before. I would highly recommend hearing her as well as reading her book.


Review posted April 16, 2017


An excellent read and comprehensively informative on compassion fatigue. A valuable tool for social workers, community volunteers, teachers, and anyone involved in occupations that provide assistance to others ought to read this book.