Vicarious Trauma, Burn Out and Compassion Fatigue Clues to Self Care

Gosh for me it wasn’t till I experienced my own Compassion Fatigue last year this stuff got real. Did I notice it, no. My supervision kindly suggested this may be a part of what was happening. She was right when I looked at it.

I was chronically tired, irritable, was going through the motions and felt fatigued. My clients probably got the best of me and my husband the left over. It was like a grey mood a mild depression. With little enthusiasm and joy. It sneaks up on you compassion fatigue (CF).

Looking back it was probably inevitable. I was fitting in clients into my calendar at their schedule, over working and not looking after my physical or emotional health. Collapsing in front of Netflix doesn’t count. Add to that buying, selling and renovating an apartment, no wonder.

According to compassion fatigue expert Francoise Mathieu (2012) between 40% and 85% of “helping professionals” develop vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue and/or high rates of traumatic symptoms.

Domestic abuse plays with your head as you attempt to make sense of what is nonsense

What helped me was getting support from colleagues, supervision, therapy and putting my health and welfare as a priority.

Yoga is a spiritual, physical and emotional help for me it helped with the compassion fatigue

I do my Yoga class today at midday, I don’t put in the client who really likes that time due to the distance they have to travel to see me. She understands – I am modelling good boundaries and self care. We find a time that works for us both. Then I can eat lunch and feel refreshed to see my afternoon clients.

While I do find it necessary to offer after hours appointments I add a small charge to this premium time, like a penalty rate. Just as I would get paid working a Sunday at the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC). I joke sayings it’s a disincentive to people wanting those slots. They laugh as they get it. And if this is what they require they pay it.

I made this decision after working for Relationships Australia where client’s were charged extra for out of hours slots but this was not passed on to counsellors. I am not bagging RA here, I love them. I also needed to honour the small resentment setting in. Part of me thought that wasn’t so fair.

I promised myself I would offer these times with a proviso. Background here too I worked at MSIC in Kings Cross 11 years in total for evenings and weekends. I’d had my fair share.

One of the best way’s I get my cup filled is learning and networking with fellow health professionals.

That’s why I am so excited to be training Resource Therapy in Ubud. It’s a holiday of self care while soaking in amazing training.

I recently had a 3 day Advanced Imago Couple Therapy Training. While I loved the training it was hell getting to Balmain. In the 2 hours commute and we were all damp. Soaked with the flooding rains. Wet socks yuk!

In Bali you will be able to stroll to the training room after your healthy breakfast. Or perhaps you will join me for a Yogabarn class. Here’s more ideas for your trip

This is more like it chilling at the pool after a wonderful day of learning
This is more like it chilling at the pool after a wonderful day of learning

At lunch time a dip in the rooftop pool will certainly refresh you for the afternoon session. In the evening after a beautiful meal out with new friends to discuss your learning and kick back you will sleep soundly in crisp hotel sheets. No laundry to wash, you can get it done for you for about $10 Aus. No dinner’s to prepare unless you choose, many stays have a kitchenette and if you are bringing family your partner might be the hunter gatherer in the local food markets.

The luscious green rice fields are magnificient and you will get to meet locals who make this their livelihood
The luscious green rice fields are magnificent

Join us in Ubud for winter time out. Resource Therapy works in so well with your wonderful tool kit. I use it with EMDR Clients as you really need a Parts Psychology to apply there.

Here’s the training venue in Ubud the Evitel – hurry to book as it’s the high season. Mention you are in Philipa’s group for the best prices. Hurry Early bird special finishes friday 14th February.

Love to hear about your experiences, if any with CF. Please comment in the box below any questions send me an email or call me 0434559011.

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