The Compassion Fatigue Workbook
Creative Tools for Transforming Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Traumatization
The Compassion Fatigue Workbook is a lifeline for any helping professional facing the physical and emotional exhaustion that can shadow work in the helping professions. Since 2001 the activities in this Workbook have helped thousands of helpers in the fields of healthcare, community mental health, correctional services, education, and the military. In addition to a comprehensive description of compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization, The Compassion Fatigue Workbook leads the reader through experiential activities designed to target specific areas in their personal and professional lives. It provides concrete strategies to help the reader develop a personalized plan for identifying and transforming compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization.
Topics covered include:
- understanding compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma
- symptom checklist
- targeting areas for strategic planning
- understanding warning signs
- assessing contributing factors
- evaluating self-care
- identifying triggers
- solutions: personal, professional and organizational strategies.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Understanding the Cost of Caring. Strategy Number One: Low-impact Debriefing. Signs and Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma. Contributing Factors: Understanding How Your Current Job is Impacting You. Addressing Compassion Fatigue: Strategies. Step One – Take Stock: Track Your Stressors at Home and at Work. Step Two – Enhancing Self-Care and Work/Life Balance. Step Three – Developing CF Resiliency Through Relaxation Training and Stress Reduction Techniques.
Step Four – Making a Commitment to Change. Reconnecting with the Rewards of the Work. Conclusion. Recommended Readings.
"The author, a compassion fatigue specialist, is well qualified for her role, writing from her extensive experience as a crisis counsellor and a leader in vicarious trauma education in Canada. The Compassion Fatigue Workbook is to be highly recommended for students, practitioners, researchers and educators whose work and study revolve around the helping professions." - Melanie Hopkins, Forensic Psychotherapist, Priory Secure Services, Berkshire; and Dr Stephen Goss, Principal Lecturer, Metanoia Institute, Middlesex University.
"I could not be more delighted to see the publication of Francoise Mathieu's Compassion Fatigue Workbook: Creative Tools for Transforming Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Traumatization. This comprehensive, engagingly written Workbook is full of accessible, compassionate tools and information that will provide immediate relief for every helper. Through self-disclosure as well as the actual words of many of our colleagues, Mathieu helps us to understand that we are not alone in being adversely affected by our beloved work. Wisely, the emphasis is on prevention where possible, including sensible advice to workplaces on how to better extend the work-life of their employees. And where compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization have already taken hold, many tools are provided to ameliorate the impact and to help heal the helper. Mathieu's unique 'Making it Personal' sections gently and persistently return us to focus on ourselves, our own needs, and our own health. Every helping professional will benefit from this workbook." - Babette Rothschild, author of Help for the Helper: The Psychophysiology of Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma
"Françoise Mathieu’s writing is wonderful: she speaks from the heart, practitioner to practitioner, about the stressors and strains of human service work, particularly those that come from prolonged regular work with traumatized patients and clients. This is a book you help write by yourself and about yourself. That’s why it is the workbook for trauma work." - Charles R. Figley, Tulane University, Louisiana, USA, and author of Treating Compassion Fatigue
"I am so grateful to Francoise for choosing to write this. The insight, humor, and wisdom found within offer the reader abundant choices on how to work and live sustainably. This workbook will be of great service for individuals, organizations, and institutions for years to come." - Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, trauma worker and coauthor of Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others
"Trauma workers will find much to reflect upon and engage with in these pages. The Compassion Fatigue Workbook will be especially valuable for those new to trauma work as they establish habits to sustain themselves. More experienced practitioners will also find opportunities to assess the impact of the work and develop new ways of responding to it." - Laurie Anne Pearlman, coauthor of Transforming the Pain: A Workbook on Vicarious Traumatization and Trauma and the Therapist: Countertransference and Vicarious Traumatization in Psychotherapy With Incest Survivors
"Healthcare workers are born to help others. But they pay the price of that particular passion in burnout, vicarious traumatization, and compassion fatigue. Few experts know more about these things than Francoise Mathieu. For years, she has been advising healthcare institutions and giving workshops to help nurses, doctors, and other healthcare providers recognize and deal with these challenges, and now her wisdom is available in an easy-to-read book filled with telling stories and great take-home information. This is a must-read for frontline healthcare providers and their supervisors." - Brian Goldman, host of CBC radio show "White Coat, Black Art"