Showing posts from April, 2020
When COVID-19 began to wreak havoc on our daily lives, my thoughts and concerns went to the caretakers, particularly those in the helping professions.  And my heart fell into my stomach. They were about to be overwhelmed professionally and emotionally, blindsided with compounding trauma. Compassion fatigue would rear its ugly head, potentially leaving atrocities in its wake. With the recent news stories about professionals’ suicides due to the pandemic, my hope is to shed light on this overlooked phenomenon. Compassion Fatigue, also known as secondary traumatic stress, or vicarious trauma, is the  consequence of working with traumatized individuals if the professional was exposed to significant numbers of them and had a strong empathic orientation. (Figley, 1995)      In other words, the professional who is most vulnerable often is a highly empathic and compassionate person exposed to trauma, especially on a routine basis. Who is most at risk? Many t