Overcoming Burnout and Compassion Fatigue in Schools
A Guide for Counselors, Administrators, and Educators
This book examines the cumulative effects of working with high trauma populations as they pertain to education settings. This text incorporates current research, anecdotal stories, and workbook pages so that practitioners are properly informed on how to identify and employ protective practices when it comes to burnout and compassion fatigue.
Educators rarely receive training that prepares them for working with children and youth who are the victims of neglect, abuse, poverty, and loss. Education professionals who are already overburdened with an overwhelming number of job-related tasks can find themselves depleted due to their care and concern for their most vulnerable students. As a result, educators experience the physical and emotional symptoms of burnout and compassion fatigue. Appropriate for both young and experienced educators, this important text provides a clear and concise approach to the topic of burnout and compassion fatigue that engages the reader in a journey of self-reflection, highlighting potential signs and symptoms of burnout, as well as examining how the school environment and individual characteristics might collide to put educators at risk.
Most importantly, this book provides guidance and resources to assist educators in implementing both individual and organizational practices that promote long-term resilience and self-care. To be at their most effective, educators must be able to care for themselves while also caring for their students.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
1 – Introduction
2 – The Developmental Impact of Trauma
3 – Risk Factors That Create the Perfect Storm
4 – Burnout: Death by a Thousand Cuts
5 – Compassion Fatigue: Sick, Tired, and Depleted
6 – Compassion Satisfaction: You’re Pretty Darn Awesome!
7 – Follow the Yellow Brick Road… to Recovery!
Appendix A - Assessing Risk Factors that Contribute to the Development of Burnout and Compassion Fatigue
Appendix B - The Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) Survey
Appendix C - The Four Quadrant Model of Trauma Self-Care
Appendix D - Mindfulness Exercises
Appendix E - Narrative Technique
Appendix F – Self-Care Plan Diagram
Appendix G - Retelling a Students’ Story: Low-Impact Debriefing Strategies
Alison L. DuBois, Ph.D., Director of the Graduate School, Westminster College, PA. For the past 23 years, Dr. DuBois, an Associate Professor of Education & Counseling, has been working with children and adolescents across a number of environments ranging from therapeutic to educational.
Molly A. Mistretta, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Counseling and Development, Slippery Rock University, PA. Dr. Mistretta’s academic career has focused on preparing students and new professionals for a variety of roles within educational settings, from kindergarten through higher education.
"A timely book for teachers and other school personnel working with children experiencing trauma. It’s become clear that school staff need training in identifying their own signs of burnout and compassion fatigue as well as understanding and developing resiliency skills. At a time when more and more teachers are leaving the profession due to their own personal issues and job dissatisfaction, Alison DuBois and Molly Mistretta do an excellent job of describing self-efficacy and resilience and the role they play in being a highly successful educator." - Patricia A. Markos, Ph.D., director, Institute for Professional Studies in Education
"Teachers enter the profession to make a difference in the lives of their students, but that same deep caring and empathy can be their impetus to leave the classroom. The authors help teachers recognize the symptoms of burnout and compassion fatigue and provide them with practical strategies for effectively dealing with stressful situations in the classroom. This is an important book for all teachers, especially those who teach in high-poverty districts." - Faye Snodgress, executive director, Kappa Delta Pi