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COMPASSION FATIGUE IN SCHOOL COUNSELORS Caring for the Caregivers. Presented By: Dr. Rosine Dougherty Associate Professor Argosy University- Sarasota Counseling Educator: School Counseling Director of Training. OUR REALITY AS PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL COUNSELORS.
Dr. Rosine Dougherty
Argosy University- Sarasota
Counseling Educator: School Counseling
Director of Training
U.S.Department of Education. (2011). Crime, Violence, Discipline, and Safety in U.S. Public Schools: Findings From the School Survey on Crime and Safety: 2009–10 First Look (NCES 2011-320).
Millions of other occurrences happen in our schools yearly: student suicides, family deaths, and natural disasters.
We are quite aware of the daily challenges we face as practicing PSCs, but when these duties are combined with long-term crisis response, these additional stressors are linked to work related dissatisfaction in the profession, burnout and compassion fatigue.
(Caro, 2007; Rayle, 2006)
Freudenberger first coined the term “burnout” in 1974; burnout has been identified in all professions. This widespread problem causes frustration, stress, reduced personal accomplishment, emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, personal dysfunction such as diminished mental and physical health.
(Belcastro, 1982; Collins & Long, 2003; Farber, 1991; Lowenstein, 1991; Maslach & Jackson, 1986; Morrissette, 2000; Pierson-Hubeny & Archambault, 1987; Pierce & Molloy, 1990)
Burnout in school counselors has been well documented. As roles, student caseloads and duties have increased, school counselors have become stressed, emotionally overextended and drained. This exhaustion leads to burnout and impacts counselors’ effectiveness.
(Butcke, & McIann, 1984; Freeman & Coll, 1997; Kendrick, et.al., 1994; Lieberman, 2004; Morrissette, 2000; NCES, 2007; Rayle, 2006; Sears & Navin, 1983; Vail, 2005; Wilkerson & Bellini, 2006).
Lambie (2007) identified several correlations when school counselors are working at low levels of burnout:
“According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV-TR (DSM-IV) a traumatic event occurs when a person directly experiences an event or witnesses an event that involves
or the person learns about an unexpected or violent death, serious harm, or threat of death or injury experienced by a family member of close friend”
(APA, 2000, cited in Caro, 2007, p.27).
“Posttraumatic Stress affects individuals differently but is identified by three categories of symptoms:
(Gentry, Baranowsky & Dunning, 1997, para 7)
“Compassion fatigue is a comprehensive term encompassing the concepts of secondary trauma, secondary traumatic stress, vicarious traumatization, and adding the components of cumulative stress, intrusion, avoidance and hypervigilance” (Figley, 2002; as cited in Caro, p. 44).
While both compassion fatigue and burnout are comprehensive terms that can affect many different professions, compassion fatigue seems to address helping professionals that work in the field of trauma or trauma-related situations.
(Abendroth & Flanery, 2006; Agulera, 1995; Agresta, 2006; Beavan & Stephens, 1999; Collins & Long, 2003; Figley, 2002; Frank & Karioth, 2006)
(McCann & Pearlman, 1990)
(Simpson & Starkey, 2006)
FIRST: RECOGNIZE THE SYMPTOMS!
SECOND: ASK FOR AND ACCEPT HELP FROM OTHER PROFESSIONALS
(Moracco & McFadden, 1982)
Schauben and Frazier’s (1995) data revealed that counselors identified 4 positive personal affirmations concerning compassion satisfaction:
Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI)
PERI provides training materials in cooperation with ASCA called The Human Side of School Crises
both by Patricia Smith (Kindle)
Self-compassion is defined as having 3 main components, self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.