Compassionate Fatigue Coaching

Compassionate Fatigue, Vicarious Trauma and Burn Out are complimentary, yet different from one another.

Compassionate Fatigue is an occupational hazard it is characterised as being the gradual profound emotional and physical exhaustion that takes place in workers over time, a gradual erosion of empathy, hope and compassion.

Vicarious Trauma is being constantly exposed to others trauma /distress and is the transformation that takes place, that changes your fundamental belief system, eventually their stories become a part of you.

Burn Out is the physical and emotional exhaustion that workers can experience when they have low job satisfaction, powerless, and overwhelmed but it does not necessarily mean that our view of how we see the world has changed however It can be fairly easily resolved by changing jobs, this is not the case for CF or VT.

Compassion Fatigue is a normal consequence of working in the helping field. The best strategy to address compassion fatigue is awareness, developing an early warning system that lets you know that you are moving into a caution zone.

Self care is not something we figure out once and for all and are certified in self care. Via training you will learn to recognise one’s own symptoms and CF and implement strategies rapidly before things get worse.

What we have discovered is that compassion fatigue exists on a continuum, meaning that at various times in our careers, we may be more immune to its damaging effects and at other times feel very beaten down by it.

Within an agency, there will be, at any One time, helpers who are feeling well and fulfilled in their work, a majority of people feeling some symptoms and a few people feeling like there is no other answer available to them but to leave the profession.

Ongoing CF can lead to PTSD, Depression, Stress Related Chronic Illnesses and in some situations death. The helper’s current life circumstance, their trauma history, coping and personality style all affect how compassion fatigue works its way through.

There are many simple and effective strategies that helpers can implement to protect the worker/helper first, by openly discussing and recognizing compassion fatigue in the workplace, helpers can normalise this problem for one another. They can also work towards developing a supportive work environment.

Improved self-care is the cornerstone of compassion fatigue prevention. On the personal front, helpers need to carefully and honestly assess their life situation: Is there a balance between nourishing and depleting activities in their lives? Do they have access to regular exercise, non-work interests, personal debriefing? Are they caregivers to everyone or have they shut down and cannot give any more when they go home? Are they relying on alcohol, food, gambling, shopping to de-stress? Helpers must recognise that theirs is highly specialised work and their home lives must reflect this…home is where replenishment and refuelling should occur.

In our workshops, we encourage helpers to design a prevention toolkit that will reflect their Own reality and that will integrate their life circumstances and work challenges.

Compassionate Fatigue Training is offered to organisations and individuals within all areas of the Helping Industry.

If you are an organisation and would like to hold a training event for your staff please contact me and we can develop an event that will meet the unique needs of your organsiation.

If you are an individual and believe that you are suffering from Compassionate Fatigue and would like to enter into a CF individualised programme, coaching session or just wanting to learn more about this please, do not hesitate to contact me

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