Compassion fatigue has been described as “the cost” of caring. It is a normal consequence of working in the helping field. One way to address compassion fatigue is to develop your own early warning system. This system alerts you to signals of stress and distress, it is an effective and practical self-care strategy. Think of your early warning system as a set of traffic lights.
Those who attend court are not there for particularly joyful reasons. They may be involved in family breakdowns, child abuse, domestic violence or dreadful criminal cases.
In your profession, do you work with people and or animals who are suffering? Or are you someone who is actively engaged in the struggle to stop any further devastation of our beautiful planet? Do you listen to countless stories of abuse, hardship and trauma?Does it often feel as if you are swimming through oceans of pain, your heart breaking time and time again, because of what you bear witness to?
It was National Palliative Care Week recently, and Compassion Fatigue Australia was invited to be a part of this important event. Palliative Care Week, is aimed at raising awareness and understanding for palliative care in the Australian community. I was honoured to speak on the topic of Compassion Fatigue and Resilience at the Palliative Care Volunteers Conference.
I was recently interviewed by Becca Posterino from Radio 2XXFM in the ACT on Compassion Fatigue. I had a great time. Please enjoy.
I was recently invited to present at a breakfast meeting. My audience was a wonderful group of bright professionals, and our topic of discussion was “Positive Psychology–Positive Leadership.”
I had a great conversation with a wonderful veterinarian recently, who shared with me his thoughts. He wondered whether the fatigue many veterinarians experience may in fact be integrity/moral fatigue and not compassion fatigue. This was a perfect example of one of the many faces of compassion fatigue.
My beautiful cat Major, my constant companion of 16 years passed away suddenly in his sleep three years go. My grief for his passing was so overwhelming, it felt like someone had turned off the sun and everyday was an exercise in endurance.
Compassion fatigue results when you overextend yourself, through caring for and supporting traumatised people and/or animals. Do you hold the belief that being of service to others is a vocation in which you are called upon to give your all? Perhaps, you feel that your needs are minor, particularly, when compared to the suffering of those you help.
Not all organisations are created equal. Organisations whose core business involves high stress, trauma subjected populations and circumstances require a unique approach. This is because continual exposure to trauma and suffering has a profound impact on organisational health and capacity. One might ask, given the nature of the work, who’s responsibility is it to ensure overall wellbeing at the individual and organisational level?