– Charles R. Figley (Editor)
In recent years, much has occurred in the field of traumatology, including the widening of the audience and the awareness of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This book from celebrated traumatology pioneer Charles Figley, further clarifies the concept of compassion fatigue through theory, research, and treatment. The basic thesis of this book is the identification, assessment, and treatment of compassion fatigue and this is done over eleven chapters, each from distinguished researchers in the field.
– August 20, 2009 by Patricia Smith
Compassion fatigue plagues caregivers worldwide. When providing care to others without incorporating authentic, sustainable self-care practices into our daily lives, destructive symptoms surface. Isolation, emotional outbursts, substance abuse and reoccurring nightmares are just a few of the symptoms that can distress the life of a caregiver. With awareness and knowledge, compassion fatigue can be recognized and managed. To Weep for a Stranger: Compassion Fatigue in Caregiving is the first step in learning more about this emotional and physical pain-filled syndrome and how to break free from the bonds that restrict compassionate, dedicated caregivers from living a happy, healthy life. Included in this book is the definition of compassion fatigue, its symptoms and causes, and standards of self-care. Also, you’ll find information for those new to the helping professions and a special section for family caregivers.
Lying Down in the Ever-Falling Snow: Canadian Health Professionals’ Experience of Compassion Fatigue
–Wendy Austin, 2013
First used to describe the weariness the public felt toward media portrayals of societal crises, the term compassion fatigue has been taken up by health professionals to name―along with burnout, vicarious traumatization, compassion stress, and secondary traumatic stress―the condition of caregivers who become “too tired to care.” Compassion, long seen as the foundation of ethical caring, is increasingly understood as a threat to the well-being of those who offer it.
Through the lens of hermeneutic phenomenology, the authors present an insider’s perspective on compassion fatigue, its effects on the body, on the experience of time and space, and on personal and professional relationships. Accounts of health professionals, alongside examinations of poetry, images, movies, and literature, are used to explore the notions of compassion, hope, and hopelessness as they inform the meaning of caring work. The authors frame their exposé of compassion fatigue with the very Canadian metaphor of “lying down in the snow.” If suffering is imagined as ever-falling snow, then the need for training and resources for safe journeying in “winter country” becomes apparent. Recognizing the phenomenon of compassion fatigue reveals the role that health services education and the moral habitability of our healthcare environments play in supporting professionals’ ability to act compassionately and to endure.
– Starla Fitch MD, 2014