Judicial Life/
Strategies for managing vicarious trauma.

Darkened image of a lone person looking downards

Friday 21st June 2024

Half Day EVENT | 9:00 AM-1:00 PM


Understand more about the nature of vicarious trauma, including strategies for prevention and management.

Vicarious trauma is one of the risks of judicial work but there are protective techniques available for judges and their staff. In this half-day program, judges will learn about vicarious trauma from experts in the field of post-traumatic mental health and hear from other experienced judicial officers. In particular, the program will focus on:

  • recognising early warning signs of vicarious trauma

  • evidence-based strategies for managing impact and recovery

  • how to recognise and respond in situations with associates and tipstaff who may be experiencing vicarious trauma.

Note: This event is open to County Court judges only.


Phoenix Australia
Professor Andrea Phelps
Professor Andrea Phelps is the Deputy Director of Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health. In this role Andrea has strategic oversight of the Centre’s activities across research, service development and training and plays a key role in strategic planning and setting future directions. She has over 20 years of clinical experience in the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic mental health problems in Veteran and emergency service populations and was responsible for the accreditation of PTSD treatment programs for Veterans across Australia for many years. At Phoenix Australia, Andrea leads a number of major projects including the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Complex PTSD. She also consults to a range of Government departments and industry partners on research, service development and policy issues regarding organisational responses to psychological trauma. Andrea has deep collaborations internationally as Vice President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and research interests in veterans mental health and the nature and treatment of posttraumatic stress with a particular focus on moral injury and posttraumatic nightmares. She has over 140 publications including peer reviewed papers, book chapters and technical reports.
Phoenix Australia
Dr Ros Lethbridge
Dr Ros Lethbridge is a clinical psychologist and senior clinical specialist at Phoenix Australia - Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, where her work centres on translating trauma-related evidence into practice. She assists organisations in the police, emergency service, government, and disaster sectors to build capacity in understanding, preventing, and promoting recovery from trauma. She was the project manager and a content developer for the NHMRC-approved Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, ASD and complex PTSD and led the dissemination of those Guidelines. Ros has broad experience in private, public, and university mental health settings. She was formerly a lawyer and has worked with the judiciary in various capacities. She has previously worked with the JCV to develop substantive projects on family violence, mentoring, wellbeing, and systemic change within the courts, and provides psychology services to individual judges under various court judicial wellbeing programs. Ros has extensive clinical experience in the treatment of trauma. As a senior psychologist at Austin Health, she treated veterans and emergency service workers who experienced psychological trauma. Ros has a particular interest in the intersection of health, law, and ethics. From 2014 she was involved in the regulation of the profession of psychology as an AHPRA Panel and then Board member, in 2021 completing her appointment to the ACT/Tas/Vic Regional Board of the Psychology Board of Australia as Presiding Member. She has current appointments to the Patient Review Panel and the Justice Human Research Ethics Committee and is a scientific advisory committee member for the Mental Health Foundation of Australia.