Befriending Compassion Fatigue Lesson One Professional Track Learning Guide

Befriending Compassion Fatigue Series

Professional Group Track Learning Guide

Lesson One: Burnout

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. “The up side to behaviors like the Silencing Response is that they act as smoke detectors to warn us of the need for action before the fire of Compassion Fatigue gets out of control. When we use this warning to motivate an investment in extreme self-care and some good trauma therapy we can begin to recover, both for ourselves and those we serve.” –Jan Spillman

2. “It is important to become aware of the times you are truly connected, the times you are listening to the story, the times you are present with the patient.” –Soul & Science Lesson

3. “Our medical model would like to make [compassion fatigue] into some sort of disease, illness, or pathological condition that needs to be fixed, eliminated, or cured in some way. What I have to say is that it is a natural part of the way we are wired to be human.” – Soul & Science Lesson

4. “Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I was put on earth to offer others.”-Parker Palmer

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)

Required Materials: Compassion Satisfaction/Fatigue Self-Test

1. “It is self-awareness that will tell us when we are and are not on target.”

Stop right at this moment and notice what you are feeling. Are you feeling connected and hopeful or numb and cynical? Write down the words that come to mind. Now take a moment out of your day-to-day experiences in the caregiving role and take the same assessment. Do your emotions seem to fall under the caregiver fatigue category? Are there areas that you can address with greater awareness and self-care? Record your thoughts and insights.

2. “Regulate our reactivity in the face of suffering…”

Breathe before responding. When you are about to respond or react while caregiving, take a conscious breath and leave a space to observe and regulate your emotion. That small moment will give you a chance to avoid silencing responses and seek active communication.

3. “…in our wellness, we can remain present for our patients.”

Fill out the Compassion Satisfaction/Fatigue Self-Test to assess your current state of satisfaction and fatigue. Complete this survey at least two more times over the course of a month and see how and if the results are changing. What might be bringing you more satisfaction? What might be creating more fatigue? Reflect on what is and isn’t helping you reach your goal of greater resiliency.

Closing Thought

   “But feelings can’t be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem.”
― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Additional Resources