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When the helpers get tired of helping Presented by: Michelle Wilkinson, MA, LPC-S

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Presentation on theme: "When the helpers get tired of helping Presented by: Michelle Wilkinson, MA, LPC-S"— Presentation transcript:

1 When the helpers get tired of helping Presented by: Michelle Wilkinson, MA, LPC-S

2  Definition of Compassion Fatigue  Identify the Signs and Symptoms  Tools to recovery  Observing the signs in self and others  Prevention

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4  Definition: World English Dictionary compassion fatigue — n the inability to react sympathetically to a crisis, disaster, etc, because of overexposure to previous crises, disasters, etc

5  Compassion Fatigue was first introduced by Carla Joinson in 1992, as a way to describe burnout among nurses  Maslach and her colleague Jackson first identified the construct "burnout" in the 1970s,the term was coined by Herbert Freudenberger in1974  McCann and Pearlman use the term Vicarious Traumatization in 1990

6  Empathy Fatigue  Burnout  Vicarious Traumatization  Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder  Just plain sick ‘N’ tired

7  76% of 2,500 clergy members survey were overweight or obese compared with 60% in general population  More than 60% of helping professionals have a trauma history of their own—we enter the field to make a difference, to give back, and share from our own life experiences  59% of mental health professionals were willing to seek help vs 15% of law enforcement

8  Burnout---is a term that describes low job satisfaction, feeling powerless, overwhelmed, depleted and frustrated by their work environment  Many persons in ‘non-helping’ jobs may experience burnout, who are not particularly in a traumatic environment

9  Employees who considered most of their days to be quite a bit or extremely stressful were over three times more likely to suffer a major depressive episode, compared with those who reported low levels of general stress  Chronic Compassion Fatigue can lead to depression, anxiety, addiction, mental and physical illnesses if left unchecked

10  Vicarious Traumatization, a termed coined by Laurie Ann Pearlman and Karen Saakvitne, is used to describe the profound shift that workers experience in their world view when they work with clients who have experienced trauma  Helpers notice that the way they think about clients and the world, is somehow changed by the cumulative process of repeated exposure.

11  Primary Trauma refers to trauma that is happening to you, either from your personal life or even in the line of duty  Secondary Trauma is the exposure to trauma via retelling of stories by client or co-worker, reading case files, hearing court testimonies or watching disturbing news footage

12  Sleep Disturbance  Exhaustion  Avoidance of circumstances  Isolation  Self-doubt of ability to help  Stress  Complacency  Secretly wishing clients don’t show up!  Anxiety  Irritability  Resentments with co-workers  Missing meetings or peer supersvions  OVERWORKING This is not an exhaustive list…………

13  “My biggest challenge as a director is that I am trying to do the work of two people. When I moved into this position, I replaced a full-time counselor. I also replaced one of the pastors who had functions as part-time overseer for the counseling center. My position as director should be a full-time position, it is impossible for me to successfully handle the responsibilities of both positions and to them both well”  Director of a women’s counseling center

14  Compassion fatigue has been described as “the cost of caring” for others in emotional pain  Compassion fatigue is an occupational hazard  Compassion Fatigue is a disorder that affects those who do their work well  Caring for others is both my calling and my cross to bear

15 Low self-esteem and lack of confidence Feelings of Fear, Anxiety, and Inadequacy Decline in health, relationship and Job Performance Thoughts of quitting!

16 OVERWHELMEDDEPRESSIONFRUSTRATIONSTRESSED OUT

17 Are you in the danger zone? Professional Quality of Life test Compassion Self-Test Self Test Limiting exposure Setting Boundaries Self Care Be confident Take your own advice! Self Worth

18  Prevention is ideal, but may not be realistic  Know your own patterns  Be confident, you got this!  Find the ‘off switch’ in your head, and by all means shut it down when you leave the office  Be human, respect your emotional limits  Their emergency is not necessarily your emergency!  Give yourself some grace!

19  Community and Professional resources  Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project/Healthy Caregiving, LLC The Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project (www.compassionfatigue.org) promotes an awareness and understanding of Compassion Fatigue and its effect on caregivers. Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project/Healthy Caregiving, LLCwww.compassionfatigue.org  Beth Hudnall Stamm ProQOL Institute Beth Hudnall Stamm ProQOL Institute  The Green Cross The Green Cross

20  Who’s job is it to help protect the helpers?

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22  Create an atmosphere of peace  Surround yourself with encouragement  Regain your smile  Notice a Sunrise or Sunset  Be Still  Journal  Take a “Mental Break” Day!

23 MeditationExerciseMassage

24 Professional Education Support Groups Be a client

25  As counselors and caring professionals we give of our time, our talent and our treasure.  You can’t give all of your treasure away  Self-care is a lifelong journey and a consciously chosen lifestyle.  Save some good things for yourself  “there is no such thing as a normal life, just life”—Wyatt Erp  Keep living, giving, and caring!

26  American Psychological Association (APA):  compassion fatigue. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved January 23, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: fatigue fatigue  The Compassion Fatigue Project  Copyright ProQOL.org  © January 2013 Counseling Today | “Who’s taking care of Superman?” Powered by WordPress.WordPress  Definition: Vicarious Traumatization—Laurie Ann Pearlman and Karen Saakvitne  Ferguson, S. (2007)Clergy compassion fatigue. Family Therapy Mag. Mar-April issue  The Compassion Fatigue Workbook: Creative tools for transforming compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization


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