Understanding Human Trafficking & Trauma with Shannon Palm, MSW, MPH

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Understanding Human Trafficking and Trauma with Shannon Palm, MSW, MPH

Presenters: Lisa Mustard, Ed.S., LMFT and Shannon Palm, MSW, MPH

In this episode, Lisa interviews Shannon Palm, MSW, MPH and she discusses how therapists can understand and best support those who have been involved in human and sex trafficking. She also shares her personal experiences of working within this field, dealing with compassion fatigue and burnout plus how we talk therapists can make a difference in the fight against trafficking.


  • Describe the lifestyle and choices faced by victims of trafficking to deepen insight into "the life."
  • Summarize key aspects of human trafficking as it pertains specifically to South Carolina.
  • Explain the role of trauma within the dynamics of human trafficking.
  • Identify and discuss the connections between human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault.
  • Develop strategies to prevent vicarious burnout among professionals working in environments exposed to human trafficking.

About Shannon: Prior to attending Law School, Shannon M. Palm was the VAWA Program Coordinator for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office. In partnership with local, state and federal agencies, Ms. Palm trained law enforcement, victim advocates, prosecutors, forensic medical professionals and judges on domestic violence, sexual assault, violent relationships, stalking and harassment. She was also responsible for the statewide Domestic Violence, Stalking and Harassment Protocol and Criminal Sexual Conduct Protocol. Ms. Palm previously worked as Coordinator for the State Child Fatality Advisory Committee, Children’s Trust’s Safe Kids South Carolina Coalition Coordinator, Long-term Trainee for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s SC Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program and remains an active Board member of the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina. Ms. Palm received her Master of Public Health and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of South Carolina, where she received the Michael D. Jarrett Leadership Potential in Public Health Administration Award for her authorship of the Racial Equity Impact Assessment policy tool. Prior to entering graduate school, Ms. Palm served children with complex trauma as a milieu mental health counselor for Aurora Mental Health Center in Aurora, Colorado. During which time, she volunteered as a diagnostic interviewer for the University of Denver’s Genes, Environment and Mood risk study of children and adolescents. Ms. Palm received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Therapy from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania, focusing her studies on post-traumatic stress. She is currently pursuing her law degree at Quinnipiac University School of Law.

About Lisa: Lisa Mustard, MPH, EdS, LMFT is a talk therapist. She has worked for a college counseling center, addiction recovery center and most recently has been working with a military branch for the past 9 years. Lisa is a lover of all things fitness and health, a Podcaster and Coach.

Continuing Education Contact Hours:

Mustard Consulting, LLC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7061. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Mustard Consulting, LLC is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

Completion Requirements:

To obtain your certificate of completion, you must listen entirely to the audio, pass the podcourse completion quiz and complete a satisfaction survey.

Refund policy: No refunds are provided for self-study courses

Course Timeline:

  • 15 mins Introduction and backgrounds
  • 15 mins How to identify trauma related behaviors of high risk adolescents/children at various developmental stages.
  • 15 mins Understanding and identifying how primary caretakers may be personally affected when working with high-risk adolescents/children who have been exposed to trauma or childhood neglect/abuse.
  • 10 mins Discussion of vicarious burnout
  • 10 Questions and Answers

Disclosure Statement for Shannon Palm: 

In lieu of a speaking honorarium from Mustard Consulting LLC, a donation was made to A21, a human trafficking organization in Connecticut.


Bales, K., & Soodalter, R. (2010). The slave next door: Human trafficking and slavery in America today. University of California Press.

South Carolina Attorney General. (n.d.). Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). South Carolina Attorney General's Office. Retrieved July 30, 2019, from https://www.scag.gov



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