This paper aims to raise awareness of vicarious trauma amongst disaster researchers, and suggests ways to prevent vicarious traumatisation from happening and/or reaching incapacitating levels. The paper examines the potential of mindfulness practice, grounded in Buddhist meditation, as a set of contemplation tools through which optimal level of functionality can be maintained or restored. The relevance of the emphasis in mindfulness on understanding suffering, non-attachment, non-judgement, and full participation in the present moment are related to the context of disaster research. The paper demonstrates the potential for increased researcher resilience through acknowledgement and understanding of impermanence, as well as skilful observation of external and internal phenomena in trauma without forming attachment to the pain and suffering.
Eriksen, C. & Ditrich, T. (2015). The relevance of mindfulness practice for trauma-exposed disaster researchers. Emotion, Space and Society, 17 63-69.