Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue, sometimes called "secondary traumatic stress disorder," is a combination of symptoms most commonly seen among those who work directly with victims of trauma, disaster, or illness, especially in the healthcare industry. When caregivers don't have the opportunity or energy to practice self-care in the midst of helping others, compassion fatigue can result. Symptoms of compassion fatigue can mimic those of chronic stress and often include feelings of apathy and isolation. Working with a mental health professional can help prevent the onset of compassion fatigue by helping caregivers develop mechanisms to manage and cope with stress, and build in time for self-care. If you are already feeling the stress of compassion fatigue, a qualified therapist can help you to recover. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s compassion fatigue experts today.

Meet the specialists

After working for nearly a decade in the field of geriatric mental health, supporting family and professional caregivers, I have developed a particular passion for teaching and supporting clients to care for themselves in order to be more effective, compassionate, and healthy caregivers to others. After moving into private practice that passion has branched out into a deeper understanding of how we are ALL caregivers, responsible for (at a minimum) caring for ourselves within a culture that actively prevents or detracts from a healthy balance between what we need to be healthy and what we have to give to our loved ones, our clients, our jobs, our children, or our passion projects. We’re an exhausted culture with no permission to slow down or give our sacred and compassionate “NO,” and it’s my professional mission to give every one of my clients those permission slips. Less burn out, more balance.

— Brandice Schnabel, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in North Canton, OH

Because of the significant importance of people in our lives, a threat to one is a threat to our own sense of safety and stability. When attempting to relieve others' suffering we wonder if we are making a difference, experience sadness, guilt, and overwhelm. Our “compassion muscle” becomes stressed leading to emotional and physical fatigue. I have experience and passion in helping those who help.

— Deah Partak, Counselor in Portland, OR

In a world that is in constant need, it is easy to experience burnout, compassion fatigue or secondary trauma. Did you set out to help others to find that you need help yourself? Let's get you the care you need, so that you can be well and continue helping others.

— Liz Adcock, Counselor in Atlanta, GA

When you give of yourself in an emotionally charged environment and being exposed to other people's pain can take a toll and negatively effect your daily life.

— DEANA KAHLE, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Bernardino, CA

First Responders and caregivers suffer from Compassion Fatigue which can interfere with living a healthy & happy life. Let me help you enjoy your job again, bring you closer to your family, and find true joy in your life.

— Melissa Smith, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Louisville, KY

In my 9-year career serving 8+ populations, I got a thorough understanding of the way Burnout and Compassion Fatigue syndromes show up for people. I provide informative talks in the community on this subject, as helping professionals are underserved. The focus is on developing sustaining practices that help them stay in positions they love longer, gain power in intervening in their own burnout cycles, and experience outcomes like Compassion Satisfaction and Post-traumatic Growth.

— Ginelle Krummey, Counselor in Asheville, NC