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

Does caring for other leave you feeling drained. Is your calendar full of events and activities to support others. Do you have problems with guilt or second guessing doing things for yourself? Are you loyal so much to other things, causes, and responsibilities that are you just your title or your role but cannot identify with who you are outside of your role as a mom, dad, business owner, therapist, fire fighter, police officer, student, advocate, employee, and ____________ (insert yours here).

— Jessica Jefferson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Davie, FL

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