In this training series, compassion fatigue is presented through five one-hour workshops that allow a more flexible, experiential introduction to the topic. These workshops involve lectures, exercises, worksheets and take-home activities.
Hour One: Understanding Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma
- Defining compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma
- Identifying compassion fatigue
- Contrasting primary vs. secondary trauma
- Distinguishing burnout
This one hour workshop introduces the topics of compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and burnout. While stress is inevitable, understanding the different sources of stress helps develop self-checks to stay positive and healthy in difficult jobs. The goal is to have participants self-assess the impact their work has on their personal life. Self-assessment tools will be shared.
Hour Two: Strategies for identifying signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue
- Exploring how compassion fatigue impacts different jobs
- Comparing physical, behavioral, and psychological signs of compassion fatigue
- Developing a continuum of warning signs
This one-hour workshop is a practical exploration of the signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. The newest research on compassion fatigue is briefly presented. Physical signs and symptoms are discussed. Self-medicating behaviors are explored. Psychological signs and symptoms are analyzed. Participants can create a personal continuum of warning signs and symptoms.
Hour Three: Strategies for reducing compassion fatigue in the workplace
- Identifying signs of compassion fatigue in the workplace
- Examining the toxic workplace
- Developing strategic alliances at work
- Mastering low impact debriefing
This one-hour workshop allows participants to identify strengths and challenges in the workplace. The topics start with identifying compassion fatigue in colleagues and how that may create a toxic workplace. Strategies for not being toxic are presented including how to balance talking about difficult cases without negatively impacting colleagues. The positive role of social support from colleagues will be highlighted.
Hour Four: Self-awareness of stress management skills
- Recognizing self-awareness skills
- Discussing the science behind the mind/body connection
- Introducing mindfulness-based stress reduction
This one-hour workshop tackles the disconnect between emotions and physical health. The latest science on trauma, stress hormones, chronic illness, and health will be briefly discussed. The purpose of resetting the stress response through mindfulness will be explored. Participants will identify and practice relaxation techniques.
Hour Five: Balancing life and work
- Assessing work-life balance
- Introducing four strategies for managing compassion fatigue
- Completing a balance map
This one-hour workshop will allow the participants to assess their life and work balance. This assessment consists of four strategies. The first is to take stock of stresses at home and work. The second is strategize areas where the balance can be improved through self care. The third is to identify sources of resiliency to reduce compassion fatigue. The fourth is to make a commitment to change. All four steps are guided by a personalized balance map.
These trainings were originally developed by Françoise Mathieu www.tendacademy.ca