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compassion fatigue in health care professionals

Compassion Fatigue Definition

By Barbara Rubel Compassion Fatigue No Comments
I define compassion fatigue as a palette of grief® where there is a blending of physical, emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and spiritual reactions due to empathetic engagement with those who are grieving or traumatized while neglecting one’s own self-care. Compassion fatigue can occur after one exposure to traumatic material or many exposures to traumatic material. This can occur whether working with adults, children, or animals. When a person works in a…
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what is compassion fatigue

What is Compassion Fatigue?

By Barbara Rubel Compassion Fatigue No Comments
Compassion fatigue is the absorbing of another person’s traumatic material. Compassion fatigue is a unique phenomenon to those who work with those impacted by trauma, grief, bereavement and stressful circumstances. Although the experience did not happen to the helper, the other person’s painful experience is extremely felt. Some consider compassion fatigue the convergence of secondary traumatic stress and burnout. However, these definitions are uniquely defined concepts. Burnout, secondary traumatic stress,…
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secondary traumatic stress

Secondary Traumatic Stress

By Barbara Rubel Secondary trauma No Comments
The terms secondary trauma and secondary traumatization are interchangeable and refer to the stressful consequence to working with traumatic material. When you are empathetic, you open yourself up and become vulnerable to internalize the traumatized individual’s experience. This is especially the case when workplaces do not offer enough recovery time between emotional cases. Symptoms you may feel Arousal symptoms from secondary traumatic stress such as irritability, avoidance, and intrusion can…
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secondary trauma

Secondary Trauma

By Barbara Rubel Secondary trauma, Vicarious trauma No Comments
Where should you start when you want to mitigate the impact of secondary trauma? You may want to immediately go to mindfulness training and self-care techniques. However, first, you need to learn about secondary trauma, risk factors, and symptoms. To fix the problem, you need to understand the problem. Being that the emotional toll of caring can compromise your functioning, this article lays the foundation for your self-care and addresses…
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grieving child

Grieving Children and the Holidays

By Barbara Rubel Grief, Holidays No Comments
Do you feel as though you may not be strong enough to support your grieving child this holiday season? I recently spoke to grieving parents. They believe that they don’t have the strengths needed to support their bereaved child. I believe they can spiritually nurture their child if they are brave; have a love of learning; are honest, hopeful; have gratitude; are spiritual; and show their love, as they talk…
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In Remembrance

From the Firehouse to the Playhouse

By Barbara Rubel Memories No Comments
I am on a mission to survive and thrive. As I brace the wind and the cold, my quick step edges me closer to Broadway. I keep reminding myself that I will be warm once inside the theater. Although it is only mid-November, the weather is surprisingly frigid. Picture this, only a block away from the theater, a frosty breeze pushes the cozy jacket hood off of my head at…
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Unpack Your Emotional Baggage

By Barbara Rubel Emotional Baggage No Comments
I can’t imagine traveling without baggage. It’s usually at the exact moment when I stand by my airline seat, when I realize the bag I packed is too heavy to lift into the overhead compartment. This past month, I took several flights across the country. With each trip, I remind myself that I must lighten my load. I do not check my bag. Rather, I lug it along with each…
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The Place I Learn the Most

By Barbara Rubel Mental Health No Comments
My “relaxing” weekend begins with my watching political reporters and talking heads arguing with one another. They sound more like columnists espousing their own views as they present bias questions to candidates. There are tensions among the electorate and strong rhetoric on both sides of the issues. I listen in hope of learning something new. There is a lot of noise coming from the television set. I turn the channels…
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Sentimental Clutter

By Barbara Rubel Memories No Comments
Who would have thought that sentimental clutter could mean so much? Several boxes of varying sizes are stacked neatly in a row. Children are often responsible for vacating their parent’s home. And that is what I did when my mom died. Although I sold much of her personal belongings and gave away items to family members, I kept those things that I could not part with. Now, several years later,…
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Turn Rigid Thinking into a Growth Mindset

By Barbara Rubel Mindset No Comments
Whether you like it or not, a rigid mindset can prevent you from turning obstacles into opportunities. Do you think in all or nothing thinking–in extremes? Perhaps you use words like, “always,” “never” or “impossible.” Likewise, people with a growth mindset are able to replace negative thoughts with positive ones and are tolerant of their mistakes. As one who has a growth mindset, I realize that although self-criticism can work…
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When a Mother’s Heart is Broken

By Barbara Rubel Grief No Comments
Why aren’t you calling? I bet you have a host of reasons from not knowing what to say to fear you might say the wrong thing. It’s not easy picking up the phone to call a grieving mother after a child has suddenly and traumatically died. It’s a fact of life that although mothers give life, they also experience loss. The death of a child becomes an event story that…
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The Voice in My Heart

By Barbara Rubel Parenting No Comments
The voice in my heart gently speaks to me. Although it’s a whisper, it’s very powerful. I recall hearing it two months into my pregnancy. I had excruciating pains and I thought I was losing my baby. However, the soothing voice in my heart told me that I had the strength to handle whatever was about to happen and to remain positive while waiting for potentially disturbing news. The ultrasound…
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Father's Day

Undeniable Proof: June Is a Month to Celebrate

By Barbara Rubel Memories No Comments
Survive and Thrive What would the world be like without celebrating meaningful days? You know what it’s like when a day actually feels special. As I think back to my childhood there were several days in June that were especially exciting from the last day of school to the first day of summer. For the most part, celebrations in June include graduations and weddings. However, there are some days that…
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