Coping with Compassion Fatigue
In an insightful interview with WebMD.com’s Medscape, Dr. Charles Figley discusses compassion fatigue, a state experienced by those helping people in distress and a phenomena that affects health care workers and the general public alike.
Dr. Figley began his study of psychologically traumatized people in the 1970’s which led him to notice in the 1980’s that many of his colleagues no longer worked in the field. When he studied deeper he found that these professionals were reacting to the “toxicity of the work”. Further study revealed that those health care professionals who could remain in the field had certain methods of self care that he came to identify as ways of preventing and mitigating compassion fatigue.