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Self-Care: An Ethical Obligation for Those Who Care.

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Presentation on theme: "Self-Care: An Ethical Obligation for Those Who Care."— Presentation transcript:

1 Self-Care: An Ethical Obligation for Those Who Care

2 Important Definitions: Empathy – The intellectual identification with, or vicarious experiencing of, the feelings, thoughts, and attitudes of others. It involves deeply engaging our minds and our hearts. Compassion Satisfaction – The positive feelings we get when we realize that the compassion we put into working with others is resulting in some relief, growth, or healing.

3 Important Definitions: (continued) Compassion Fatigue – Fatigue, emotional distress, or apathy resulting from constant demands of caring for others. The weariness that comes from caring. Burnout – Physical and emotional exhaustion that may include a negative self-concept and job attitudes, a loss of concern and feeling for others. High levels of compassion fatigue may lead to burnout.

4 Important Definitions: (continued) Vicarious (Secondary) Trauma – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder behaviors & emotions resulting from internalizing events experienced by another. Vicarious: To feel through the experience of others; a secondary rather than primary experience with significant impact.

5 The Ripple Effect: Traumatic events are like rocks thrown into our pond. Each rock causes a series of ripples.

6 Personal Impact of Vicarious Trauma: Physical – Sleep disturbances, change in appetite, increased alcohol consumption, impaired immune system, low energy, fatigue, aches & pains. Emotional – Anxiety, guilt, irritability, anger, sadness, loss of empathy, emotional shutdown, hopelessness, depression. Behavioral – Impatience, irritability, routine changes, absentmindedness, accident prone, elevated startle response, moodiness, self-destructive behaviors.

7 Personal Impact of Vicarious Trauma: Cognitive – Diminished concentration, loss of focus, rigidity, self- doubt, perfectionism, difficulty with decisions, hyper-vigilance. Relational (Interpersonal) – Withdrawal, mistrust, intolerance, loneliness, changes in intimacy, emotionally unavailable. World View (Spiritual) – Feel sense of unfairness, lack of support, anger at Higher Power, questioning beliefs, loss of purpose.

8 Professional Impact of Vicarious Trauma Job Tasks – Decrease in quality & quantity, lower motivation, increased mistakes, perfectionistic standards. Morale – Loss of interest, dissatisfaction with work, negative attitude, apathy, decrease in confidence, demoralization, feelings of incompleteness.

9 Professional Impact of Vicarious Trauma Interpersonal – Withdrawal from colleagues, poor communication, staff conflicts, impatience, blaming, cliquish behavior, decreased quality of relationships. Behavioral – Absenteeism, exhaustion, irritability, overworking, irresponsibility, tardiness, poor judgment, frequent threats to resign or quit.

10 The Silencing Response: One Other Sign of Compassion Fatigue Shutting down our empathy & demanding trauma survivors keep problems to themselves. Consciously or unconsciously finding ways to silence those manifesting trauma symptoms.

11 Self-Care: You Cant Teach What You Dont Know. You Cant Lead Where You Wont Go.

12 Prevention & Self-Care The Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL R-IV). Also available in many other languages.

13 ProQOL Scores: Neither your name nor any other self-identifying information is to be written on this form. This information is being requested anonymously. All individual information is to be kept confidential. My Compassionate Satisfaction Score ________. My Compassion Fatigue/Secondary Trauma Score _________. My Burnout Score ____________. Comments: (Optional, however, avoid disclosing information that may lead to your identification).

14 Self-Care Planning: Physical – The things I do to take care of my body in a healthy way. Emotional – Things I do to take care of my feelings in healthy way. Cognitive – Things I do to improve my mind and understand myself better.

15 Self-Care Planning: Social – The things I do in relation to others and the world around me. Financial – The things I do to spend and save responsibly. Spiritual – Things I do to gain perspective on my life.

16 The Heart of Learning and Teaching: Compassion, Resiliency, and Academic Success Contact Ron Hertel, Program Supervisor Office Superintendent of Public Instruction Phone: 360-725-4968 Email:

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