Trauma Stewardship


An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others

by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky with Connie Burk
foreword by Jon R. Conte, PhD

This beloved bestseller—over 180,000 copies sold—has helped caregivers worldwide keep themselves emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically healthy in the face of the sometimes overwhelming traumas they confront every day.

A longtime trauma worker, Laura van Dernoot Lipsky offers a deep and empathetic survey of the often-unrecognized toll taken on those working to make the world a better place. We may feel tired, cynical, or numb or like we can never do enough. These, and other symptoms, affect us individually and collectively, sapping the energy and effectiveness we so desperately need if we are to benefit humankind, other living things, and the planet itself.

In Trauma Stewardship, we are called to meet these challenges in an intentional way. Lipsky offers a variety of simple and profound practices, drawn from modern psychology and a range of spiritual traditions, that enable us to look carefully at our reactions and motivations and discover new sources of energy and renewal. She includes interviews with successful trauma stewards from different walks of life and even uses New Yorker cartoons to illustrate her points.

“We can do meaningful work in a way that works for us and for those we serve,” Lipsky writes. “Taking care of ourselves while taking care of others allows us to contribute to our societies with such impact that we will leave a legacy informed by our deepest wisdom and greatest gifts instead of burdened by our struggles and despair.

Paperback | 288 pages | Berrett-Koehler Publishers | 2009

Laura van Dernoot Lipsky is the founder and director of The Trauma Stewardship Institute. Widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of trauma exposure, she has worked locally, nationally, and internationally for more than three decades.

Coauthor Connie Burk started her work in the anti-violence movement 25 years ago in Lawrence, Kansas. As a student activist and then a domestic violence shelter advocate, she began to make sense of her own experience with family violence and to build a framework for engaging people to make change. As her work progressed, she co-founded the first regional domestic violence survivor services for lesbian, bisexual, trans, and gay people in Kansas as a project of Women’s Transitional Care Services.

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