Befriending Compassion Fatigue Lesson Four Professional Track Learning Guide

Befriending Compassion Fatigue Series

Professional Group Track Learning Guide

Lesson Four: Spiritual Pain

Directions:

-The first step is ACT ONE. This interactive form section will give you an opportunity to delve deeply into the concepts behind our lesson and reflect on how they connect to your life and your role as caregiver. A critical element for the success of an ACT Learning Group is to provide some time and space for personal reflection and journaling.

-After completing this step, ACT TWO is a period of group discussion and reflection. All participants must be given a safe space to express themselves during this time. This portion of the interactive form is filled out with insights gained from your community exploration.

-Next, your group will move on to ACT THREE, the Best Practicesreal-world habits, ways of thinking, or behaving that can increase personal well-being. Goals to incorporate best practice suggestions can be made on the group or individual level and support systems can be developed during this time.

ACT Step One: Individual Reflection

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Two: Group Discussion

1. “She had no idea how to respond to me. It was as if it was a question she never thought of, or heard before, or even considered” - Soul & Science Lesson

2. “Within the four dimensions of spiritual pain, we can begin to talk about compassion fatigue…” - Soul & Science Lesson

3.“Closed and rigid boundaries deny our own experience, humanness, and interrelatedness...” - Soul & Science Lesson

4. “Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter. The one of us who finds the strength to get up first, must help the other.” - Vera Nazarian

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Three: Best Practices – (Choose at Least One)

1. “A skill I’ve found to be particularly useful is to develop a support system.” – Soul & Science Lesson

Find two or three people that can be a formal or informal support system for you. Create a schedule or pattern for communicating with each other about the success and challenges of the day, whether it’s over coffee, at lunch, or by video chat.

2. “Begin to have real conversations about what is going on and what hurts.” –Soul & Science Lesson

Utilize open-ended questions when talking with other caregivers. These types of questions will encourage the person to stop, think, and reflect, which will lead to real connection and support. Answers from these types of questions will include thoughts about feeling, opinions, or ideas and usually start with why, how, what, describe, tell me about…, or what do you think about…, etc. Feel free to include “tell me about…” This isn’t really a question, but it will bring about the same meaningful result. Take a moment to reflect on how this type of communication changes the dynamics of a relationship.

3. “The Spiritual Health Assessment Tool is a practical way to become better acquainted with the diagnoses of emotional-spiritual wellness and suffering.” –Richard Groves

Consider using the Spiritual Health Assessment Tool for yourself by ‘taking your spiritual pulse’ on a regular (daily or weekly) basis.  Notice the patterns of what create wellness or suffering in your daily life.  This is a way of noticing the story you tell about your own suffering.  Imagine how the tool might open up healing conversations with those you care for.

Closing Thought

“No person, trying to take responsibility for her or his identity, should have to be so alone. There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep, and still be counted as warriors.”
― Adrienne Rich

Additional Resources