Compassion Fatigue Taking care of self while caring

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Compassion Fatigue Taking care of self while caring for others Yvonne Simpson, MA, CFE

Compassion Fatigue Taking care of self while caring for others Yvonne Simpson, MA, CFE King County 2 -1 -1, Seattle

Training outcomes �Recognize the stages, causes, symptoms, and consequences of compassion fatigue �Identify your

Training outcomes �Recognize the stages, causes, symptoms, and consequences of compassion fatigue �Identify your level of compassion fatigue �Determine the most effective self-care strategies for yourself �Create a plan so you can continue to do your work in a sustainable way.

The human experience

The human experience

Definitions �Compassion Fatigue (Secondary traumatic stress disorder) �Burnout �Vicarious Trauma

Definitions �Compassion Fatigue (Secondary traumatic stress disorder) �Burnout �Vicarious Trauma

Compassion Fatigue �It is often an occupational hazard for those working in helping professions.

Compassion Fatigue �It is often an occupational hazard for those working in helping professions. �It is NOT a reflection of the helper’s inadequacy. �It does NOT indicate the toxicity or “badness” of a client.

Stages of compassion fatigue �Zealot �Irritability �Withdrawal �Zombie

Stages of compassion fatigue �Zealot �Irritability �Withdrawal �Zombie

Common causes �Serving in a “helping capacity” �Repeatedly experiencing needs �Doing more with less

Common causes �Serving in a “helping capacity” �Repeatedly experiencing needs �Doing more with less ($, options, time, etc. ) �Manipulation by those that you serve �Extraordinary circumstances �Your personal life

Stressors �Healthy, useful �Chronic, detrimental

Stressors �Healthy, useful �Chronic, detrimental

Physiological effects of stress Autonomic Nervous System �Regulates functions of our internal organs �Two

Physiological effects of stress Autonomic Nervous System �Regulates functions of our internal organs �Two main subsystems: �Sympathetic �Parasympathetic

Sympathetic nervous system • Adrenaline increase • Blood (oxygen, nutrients) diverted to large muscles

Sympathetic nervous system • Adrenaline increase • Blood (oxygen, nutrients) diverted to large muscles • Five senses heightened • “Fight or flight”

Parasympathetic system § Conserves energy § Dilates vessels § Relaxes muscles § “Rest and

Parasympathetic system § Conserves energy § Dilates vessels § Relaxes muscles § “Rest and Renew”

Effects of chronic stress § Cardiovascular disease § Decreased immunity § Pain § Mental

Effects of chronic stress § Cardiovascular disease § Decreased immunity § Pain § Mental health

How do you react to stress?

How do you react to stress?

Other consequences of stress �Impulsive behaviors �Poor inter-personal communication �Work performance suffers �Apathy, avoidance

Other consequences of stress �Impulsive behaviors �Poor inter-personal communication �Work performance suffers �Apathy, avoidance

Workplace toxicity �A common consequence of compassion fatigue �Leads to negative ruts �Turning on

Workplace toxicity �A common consequence of compassion fatigue �Leads to negative ruts �Turning on each other rather than collaborating for change

Share a time when you mentally took your work home with you or your

Share a time when you mentally took your work home with you or your work caused symptoms of compassion fatigue.

PROQo. L Professional Quality of Life Scale Measures compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic

PROQo. L Professional Quality of Life Scale Measures compassion satisfaction, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress Available free on-line at www. proqol. org

The remedy: Self-care Isn’t it selfish? No, it is an issue of needs (not

The remedy: Self-care Isn’t it selfish? No, it is an issue of needs (not desires or preferences) You are only able to serve others to the degree to which you are physically and emotionally healthy. “First do no harm”

Process the stress �Intentionality �“metabolizing the things we bear witness to” (van Dernoot Lipsky)

Process the stress �Intentionality �“metabolizing the things we bear witness to” (van Dernoot Lipsky) �Be willing to engage the stress

Finding balance �What do you value? �What can you control? �Is there any one

Finding balance �What do you value? �What can you control? �Is there any one change that you can make? �What is my plan if nothing outside of me changes?

Identifying triggers Reflect: �What are your triggers? �Why do they affect you? �Are the

Identifying triggers Reflect: �What are your triggers? �Why do they affect you? �Are the situations that you face triggering past experiences or emotions? �What can you do to help yourself heal from the past?

Boundaries

Boundaries

Share one tangible boundary that you can set to intentionally separate yourself from that

Share one tangible boundary that you can set to intentionally separate yourself from that which stresses you.

Work Home transition Create a practice to leave work stress at work § Ritual

Work Home transition Create a practice to leave work stress at work § Ritual § Imagery § Intentional action

Healthy outlets for stress �Self-awareness �Grief �Talking it out �Working it out �Play!

Healthy outlets for stress �Self-awareness �Grief �Talking it out �Working it out �Play!

Support system �Workplace vs. home life support systems �Relational poverty �Low-impact debriefing

Support system �Workplace vs. home life support systems �Relational poverty �Low-impact debriefing

Toxic Supportive Workplace Brainstorming conversations �Current office climate �Do we need to consider getting

Toxic Supportive Workplace Brainstorming conversations �Current office climate �Do we need to consider getting help from a professional team outside of our agency to help us? �How can we ensure improvement over the long-run?

Kindness “People who love themselves come across as very loving, generous and kind; they

Kindness “People who love themselves come across as very loving, generous and kind; they express their self-confidence through humility, forgiveness and inclusiveness. ” It is first necessary to think, speak, and act kindly towards yourself. How often do you beat yourself up mentally?

Gratitude Tha nk y ou! �Make a practice of receiving from others �Consciously note

Gratitude Tha nk y ou! �Make a practice of receiving from others �Consciously note good things that happen a) Name five things that purely bring you joy. b) What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

Focus �Active listening �Why multi-tasking doesn’t work �Mindful relaxation/body awareness

Focus �Active listening �Why multi-tasking doesn’t work �Mindful relaxation/body awareness

How do you put this information to use? �Growth goals and maintenance goals �Professional

How do you put this information to use? �Growth goals and maintenance goals �Professional goals and personal goals �Based on your life priorities �Accountability “buddy”

Satisfaction Connect with the rewards of the work you do �Why did you choose

Satisfaction Connect with the rewards of the work you do �Why did you choose this field in the first place? �Name one aspect of the work that you find rewarding. Is this still the right place for you?

The Stockdale Paradox You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail

The Stockdale Paradox You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, and at the same time have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

Questions?

Questions?

Resources �Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project, www. compassionfatigue. org �Figley, Charles (1995) Compassion Fatigue: Secondary

Resources �Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project, www. compassionfatigue. org �Figley, Charles (1995) Compassion Fatigue: Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorders in Those Who Treat the Traumatized �Green Cross Academy of Traumatology, http: //www. greencross. org/

Resources �Mathieu, Francoise (2011) The Compassion Fatigue Workbook: Creative Tools for Transforming Compassion Fatigue

Resources �Mathieu, Francoise (2011) The Compassion Fatigue Workbook: Creative Tools for Transforming Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma �Saakvitne, Karen (1996) Transforming the Pain: A Workbook on Vicarious Traumatization �Van Dernoot Lipsky, Laura (2009) Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others