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

Helping professionals enter the field ready to "save the world". Ok, maybe not that dramatic, but you understand my point. How you take care of yourself in that process will directly impact your ability to manage your ability to stay present, focused, and empathetic. Compassion fatigue can present as depression, burnout, anxiety, and a lack of motivation. Together we can develop a plan to create a unique plan to get you to where you want to be and where you thrive.

— Melissa Russiano, Clinical Social Worker

Are you experiencing burn out? Do you work in a career that demands a lot from you? Do you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders? I can support you in remembering the importance of putting on your own oxygen mask first. How do you nurture yourself in demanding relationships? How do you care for yourself when the world asks so much from you? Contact me and we can begin to explore how to better take care of you!

— Jenna Noah, Counselor in Denver, CO

Being a caregiver is a rough, whether its for your kids, students, an ailing parent, your clients and patients, and most of all to ourselves. I work and train with clinicians specializing in issues related to self-care, balance, boundaries, and personal fulfillment -- needs that often are the first to go once we stat over-spending our energy and resources to support others.

— Andrew Amick, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Valley Village, CA

When we bear witness to violence and oppression daily in our work, organizing, or community, it impacts us. My personal experience in nonprofit legal services taught me as much, and inspired me to deep learning about preventing compassion fatigue. I understand that the systems and communities we are part of have as much to do with our resilience as our own actions. At my last workplace, I spearheaded a multi-year effort to create more structural and relational protective factors for workers.

— Kelin Hall, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Chicago, IL

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

Caring for others can be exhausting and emotionally taxing. Let's work together to find balance. If you don't take care of yourself, you cannot care for others.

— Leigh Carter, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Warminster, PA

Are you exhausted? Running on empty? Too busy taking care of others to make time for yourself? I'm your person! I gave away all of my energies to others and left nothing for me at the end of the day. Finding a therapist for myself years ago, well, this made all the difference in the world to me! I'm no longer afraid to say "no", I have clearly defined boundaries, and more energy and time for my family - and for ME! Self care is NOT selfish!

— Shelley Shaffer, Counselor in Moose Lake, MN

It has been especially gratifying to me over the years to be a helper to fellow helpers. Whether you are a counselor, medical professional, firefighter/EMT or other first responder, a pastor or other person on the front lines of human suffering, if would be my honor to support you in relieving the burdens you carry and gaining some tools to prevent such fatigue in the future.

— Christie Bates, Licensed Professional Counselor in Oxford, MS

This is a topic I have been passionate about for years. Being able to maintain a work-life balance and implement quality self-care is an integral part of taking care of others. I partner with people to develop a routine and way of life that focuses on this while understanding the things that haven't worked in the past.

— Hannah Noel, Counselor in Woodbury, MN

As a helping professional when you go beyond burnout you enter compassion fatigue - you lose the ability to care for yourself and others the way that deep down you probably still want to. You lose the satisfaction you used to feel when you help others and you get tired of caring. Instead you start to wonder who is going to help you. You deserve to be happy, proud, and satisfied with your work again.

— Megan Carney, Psychologist in Meridian, ID

I specialize in Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma. I am a Certified Compassion Fatigued Professional (CCFP). If you are a professional helper beginning to feel burnt out or traumatized by your work, this is a normal reaction that occurs to professional helpers. You can grow and cope with it! You owe it to yourself, family, friends, and clients to take action.

— Deah Partak, Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR

One of my passions and focus in therapy has been to help the helper. I work with Social Workers and Therapist who experience compassion fatigue as occupational hazard. Because of the situations that lead us to compassion fatigue part of the direction of therapy is to be the sounding board for you to empty the weight you carry and then fill your bucket with hope, direction, and renewed strength.

— Tiffany Pardo, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Vacaville, CA

My specialty is helping people overcome anxiety and depression associated with compassion fatigue. Though my therapy, I have been able to help people find balance in their lives so they can be more effective helpers without sacrificing their whole selves. I offer a judgement free zone to help people through some of the most difficult times they will ever experience.

— Kate Rodriguez, Licensed Professional Counselor in CORPUS CHRISTI, TX