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Self-Care: An Ethical Obligation for Those Who Care. Important Definitions: Empathy – The intellectual identification with, or vicarious experiencing of, the feelings, thoughts, and attitudes of others. It involves deeply engaging our minds and our hearts.

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Self-Care:

An Ethical Obligation for Those

Who Care


Important Definitions:

Empathy – The intellectual identification with, or vicarious experiencing of, the feelings, thoughts, and attitudes of others. It involves deeply engaging our minds and our hearts.

Compassion Satisfaction – The positive feelings we get when we realize that the compassion we put into working with others is resulting in some relief, growth, or healing.


Important Definitions: (continued)

Compassion Fatigue – Fatigue, emotional distress, or apathy resulting from constant demands of caring for others. The weariness that comes from caring.

Burnout – Physical and emotional exhaustion that may include a negative self-concept and job attitudes, a loss of concern and feeling for others. High levels of compassion fatigue may lead to burnout.


Important Definitions: (continued)

Vicarious (Secondary) Trauma – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder behaviors & emotions resulting from internalizing events experienced by another.

Vicarious: To feel through the experience of others; a secondary rather than primary experience with significant impact.


The Ripple Effect:

Traumatic events are like rocks thrown into our pond.

Each rock causes a series of ripples.


  • Personal Impact of Vicarious Trauma:

  • Physical – Sleep disturbances, change in appetite, increased alcohol consumption, impaired immune system, low energy, fatigue, aches & pains.

  • Emotional – Anxiety, guilt, irritability, anger, sadness, loss of empathy, emotional shutdown, hopelessness, depression.

  • Behavioral – Impatience, irritability, routine changes, absentmindedness, accident prone, elevated startle response, moodiness, self-destructive behaviors.


  • Personal Impact of Vicarious Trauma:

  • Cognitive – Diminished concentration, loss of focus, rigidity, self-doubt, perfectionism, difficulty with decisions, hyper-vigilance.

  • Relational (Interpersonal) – Withdrawal, mistrust, intolerance, loneliness, changes in intimacy, emotionally unavailable.

  • World View (Spiritual) – Feel sense of unfairness, lack of support, anger at Higher Power, questioning beliefs, loss of purpose.


  • Professional Impact of Vicarious Trauma

  • Job Tasks – Decrease in quality & quantity, lower motivation, increased mistakes, perfectionistic standards.

  • Morale – Loss of interest, dissatisfaction with work, negative attitude, apathy, decrease in confidence, demoralization, feelings of incompleteness.


  • Professional Impact of Vicarious Trauma

  • Interpersonal – Withdrawal from colleagues, poor communication, staff conflicts, impatience, blaming, cliquish behavior, decreased quality of relationships.

  • Behavioral – Absenteeism, exhaustion, irritability, overworking, irresponsibility, tardiness, poor judgment, frequent threats to resign or quit.


The Silencing Response:

One Other Sign of Compassion Fatigue

Shutting down our empathy & demanding trauma survivors keep problems to themselves.

Consciously or unconsciously finding ways to silence those manifesting trauma symptoms.


Self-Care:

“You Can’t Teach What You

Don’t Know.

You Can’t Lead Where You

Won’t Go.”


Prevention & Self-Care

  • The Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL R-IV).

  • http://www.proqol.org/ProQol_Test.html

  • Also available in many other languages.


  • ProQOL Scores:

  • Neither your name nor any other self-identifying information is to be written on this form.

  • This information is being requested anonymously. All individual information is to be kept confidential.

  • My Compassionate Satisfaction Score ________.

  • My Compassion Fatigue/Secondary Trauma Score _________.

  • My Burnout Score ____________.

  • Comments: (Optional, however, avoid disclosing information that may lead to your identification).


  • Self-Care Planning:

  • Physical – The things I do to take care of my body in a healthy way.

  • Emotional – Things I do to take care of my feelings in healthy way.

  • Cognitive – Things I do to improve my mind and understand myself better.


  • Self-Care Planning:

  • Social – The things I do in relation to others and the world around me.

  • Financial – The things I do to spend and save responsibly.

  • Spiritual – Things I do to gain perspective on my life.


The heart of learning and teaching compassion resiliency and academic success

The Heart of Learning and Teaching: Compassion, Resiliency, and Academic Success

Contact

Ron Hertel, Program Supervisor

Office Superintendent of Public Instruction

Phone: 360-725-4968

Email: [email protected]


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