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Strengthening The Web. Who are you connected to?. Activity – list relationships that you maintain with others in a typical week Clients Co-workers Friends Family Pets Other. Who makes up your “circle of care?” Which connections are most important to you?

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who are you connected to

Who are you connected to?

Activity – list relationships that you maintain with others in a typical week








Who makes up your “circle of care?”

Which connections are most important to you?

Who/what brings you joy? What keeps you centered? What gives you strength?


Strategies for nurturing your connections

Join a community group with whom you have a common interest

Establish rituals with friends and co-workers outside of work

Look at photos

Create family routines and rituals

Check in regularly with family/friends

Make time for socialization and fun

Connect spiritually with others

avoiding the pitfalls

Avoiding the pitfalls

Which relationships are barriers to or get in the way of your own self-care?

What might you do to change the nature of those relationships?

finding the inspiration

Finding the inspiration

Who are the people from whom you draw inspiration?

How do you stay connected to them?

find the time
Find the time

If you have 2 minutes

Let someone know you’re thinking of them

Give kudos to someone

Send some possible dates to get together with someone

find the time1
Find the time

If you have 5 minutes

Send people in your life a brief personal update

Write a thank you card

Reflect on what you need relationally in your life right now, and can ask for

find the time2
Find the time

If you have 30 minutes

Play a game with a child or adult

Cook with someone

Go for a walk with a friend or family member

trauma stewardship an everyday guide to caring for self while caring for others
Trauma StewardshipAn everyday guide to caring for self while caring for others

Laura van Dernoot Lipsky

with Connie Burk

souls in the hands of a tender god stories of the search for home and healing on the streets
Souls in the Hands of a Tender GodStories of the Search for Home and Healing on the Streets

Craig Rennebohm

with David Paul


You, Others, and Work

Photo by Matt Keifer


“I’ve got to keep breathing. It’ll be my worst business mistake if I don’t.”

- Steve Martin


Warning Signs

High rates of staff turnover

High rates of absenteeism/tardiness

Lack of communication and frequent miscommunication

Increased interpersonal conflicts among co-workers/between departments

Poor quality of work/service delivery

Negative atmosphere

Less energy and motivation to “go the extra mile”

Increased client complaints



Things are running smoothly

Things are busy and beginning to be stressful

Things are really busy and beginning to feel overwhelming

The organization is totally overwhelmed


“Habit is habit and not to be flung out the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”

- Mark Twain

Exploring benefits

Building community

Avoiding the pitfalls

Finding the inspiration

Finding the time

Strategies for creating healthy organizations


Staff members ask for help and get it

Real sense of pride in workplace.

Employees feel safe to raise difficult issues

Everyone encouraged to think and contribute to problem-solving

Significant decision-making autonomy

Consumers involved, integrated

Various cultural groups represented


Resources available for training, developing skills

Workplace enjoyable and welcoming place

Conflict handled competently with positive results

Professional standards supported

Organization operates using a long-term vision

avoiding the pitfalls1

Sure-fire strategies to breed burnout in your organization:

Keep important information to yourself

Never smile or say thank-you

Approach every situation with a “what is it this time

Use “It will never work” as your default

Cancel supervision; better yet, don’t schedule it

Avoiding the pitfalls
finding the time

If you have 2 minutes



Take a few deep breaths

Thank someone

Finding the time
finding the time1

If you have 5 minutes

Respond to an email that’s been nagging you

Sit quietly

Have a brief conversation with someone you don’t normally interact with

Take a short walk

Finding the time
finding the time2

If you have 30 minutes

Eat lunch with a colleague

Have a “walking meeting” with someone rather than sitting in the office

Rearrange or spruce up your workspace

Finding the time

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it as serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

selected resources

Printed Material

Figley, C.H. (2002). Treating Compassion Fatigue. New York: Routledge.

Kraybill, K., & Olivet, J. (2006). Shelter Health: Essentials of Care for People Living in Shelter. Nashville: National Health Care for the Homeless Council. Available at

Maslach, C. and Jackson, SE (1986). Maslach Burnout Inventory Manual: Second Edition. Palo Alto: Consulting Psychologist Press.

van Dernoot Lipsky, Laura & Burk, Connie (2007). Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others. Available at www.trau-

Selected Resources
selected resources1


Bassuk, E., Guarino, K., Volk, K. & Lombardo, M. (2008). Take Charge Speaker’s Kit. Duluth, GA: OrganWise Guys, Inc. Available by calling the National Center on Family Homelessness at 617-964-3834 or OrganWise Guys, Inc. at 800- 786-1730.

Kraybill, K. (2003). Creating and Maintaining a Healthy Work Environment: A Resource Guide for Staff Retreats. National Healthcare for the Homeless Council and Healthcare for the Homeless Clinicians Network. Available at

Saakvitne, K.W., Gamble, S., Pearlman, L.A., and Lev, B.T. (2001). Risking Connection: A Training Curriculum for Working with Survivors of Childhood Abuse. Baltimore: Sidran Institute.

Selected Resources
selected resources2


America’s Continuing Education Network ~ Spotlight on Compassion Fatigue:

American Institute of Stress:

American Psychological Association (search for “compassion fatigue”):

Association of Clinicians for the Underserved, Strength for Serving Project:

Fried Social Worker:


Homelessness Resource Center:

Life Balance Assessment Inventory:

National Health Care for the Homeless Council:

Selected Resources