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Vicarious Trauma, Compassion Fatigue, And Burn Out

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Jared Langemeier

on 13 August 2018

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Transcript of Vicarious Trauma, Compassion Fatigue, And Burn Out

Vicarious Trauma, Compassion Fatigue, And Burn Out
1. Short-term (acute)
2. Long-term (chronic)
3. Occur around major life changes
Positive: Marriage, graduation, birth of a baby
Negative: Death, job loss, divorce
4. Critical Incident Stress: Shock
“The chronicity, acuity and complexity that is perceived to be beyond the capacity of the service provider” (Stamm 1995)
Low job satisfaction
Heavy workload, poor pay, unrealistic demands
Have not had a change in world view
Still have the ability to feel compassion for others
Can make us more vulnerable to VT, CF
Easily resolved
Compassion Fatigue
Vicarious Trauma
Commit To Change!
Ice Breaker
Share the first adjective that comes to mind when given the subject word.
What do you know about Compassion Fatigue, Vicarious Trauma, and Burn Out?
These are bitch sessions where you
oan, and
These sessions are like having a fake workout.
Sit on the couch, eat chips, and watch a workout video
The end result is not what you are looking for.

What's On Your Plate?
Primary vs Secondary Trauma:
Lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Direct exposure to trauma
As a consequence of the work: ex -car accidents, fatalities involving children
From our personal lives, our own past: ex- war, loss. accidents

Compassion Fatigue
- n -
The inability to react sympathetically to a crisis, disaster, etc. because of overexposure to previous crises, disaster, etc.

Vicarious Trauma
- n -
A transformation in the self of a trauma worker or helper that results from empathic engagement with traumatized clients and their reports of traumatic experiences.

Burn Out
- n -
Fatigue, frustration, or apathy resulting from prolonged stress, overwork, or intense activity.
Toxic Workplace
Square root of B.S.
Cynicism Ratio
Take the square root of the number of times
you say “Bull Shit” on an average day
Most would see themselves on the high end
of the cynical side.

One of the biggest challenges at work can be colleagues who exhibit cynicism and negativity.

Toxic workplace is common when compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and burnout are present.

When a toxic workplace is present an atmosphere of mistrust
There is usually mistrust with management
- Have a feeling they are out to get me
Begin to turn on each other
Many times new recruits are the ones who suffer this
Veterans feels is there job to toughen up the new recruits so they do not suffer like the veteran did

Can cause you to get into a negative rut
Some people start to feel bitterness and lose the belief they have the ability to make change.

Thought to Ponder...
“The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet.”

Rachel Naomi Remen,
Kitchen Table Wisdom 1996

Use of empathy and emotionally intense contact with people/families
Not in actual danger; through stories, writings, videos (news footage)

"You'll have to excuse my husband - He has Compassion Fatigue."
Anger and irritability
Predicting "customer" issues
Avoiding difficult topics
Fatigue and Exhaustion
Moral Distress
Failure to get a life
Signs and Symptoms
Repeated exposure to difficult stories changes our view of the world. (Saakvitne&Pearlman)

Example: Hearing about repeated stories of break-ins in your neighborhood could change how you secure your home when you leave and when you are home
When thinking about those who suffer Vicarious Trauma in our department remember it isn’t just officers, but also support staff who hear all the stories we tell.
This isn’t caused by just one story that changes our view but rather the 100’s we hear.

Sliming – The telling of stories, graphic at times, without warning others.

We need to try to avoid sliming by omitting the grittiest and goriest details when possible.

Represent the warning signs for compassion fatigue continuum – Green, Yellow, Red.

Green Zone:

is when you are your very best. Could be when you first started the job or just came back from a long vacation.

Yellow Zone:
This is the area where most of us live. This is also the zone when we start to see some warning signs but those signs go unnoticed.

Red Zone:

This is the danger zone. We may experience this several times throughout our life.
If you were to experience this zone on the far end you may deal with being put on stress leave, experiencing depression, or become totally withdrawn.

Traffic Lights
12 self-care tips for helpers

1.Take Stock-What’s on your plate?
2. Start a Self-Care Idea Collection
3. Find time for yourself every day – Rebalance your workload
4. Delegate - learn to ask for help at home and at work
5. Have a transition from work to home
6. Learn to say no (or yes) more often
7. Assess your Trauma Inputs-amount of trauma related info
we unconsciously absorb
8. Learn more about Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma
9. Consider Joining a Supervision/Peer Support Group
10. Attend Workshops/Professional Training Regularly
11. Consider working part time (at this type of job)
12. Exercise
Prepared By:
Officer Richard Stickney
Omaha Police Department

Lindsay Kroll, MA,LIMHP, LPC
Lutheran Family Services

Deputy Jared Langemeier
Douglas County Sheriff's Office
Where Are We Going?

Understanding Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma
How stress affects you
Retooling your Self Care
Figuring out your Life/Work Balance

Biophysiology of Stress and Autonomic Nervous System
Designed to effectively deal with stress

Fight, flight, freeze=response to meet the threat
- “Why Zebra’s don’t get ulcers”
- Recover once threat passes

Not designed for chronic stress
- Prolonged stress = exhaustion = stress related diseases
- The stress response can become more damaging than the stressor itself-ESPECIALLY IF THE STRESS IS PURELY PSYCHOLGICAL

ANS (Branches do the opposite of one another)

Parasympathetic Branch
Mediates calm, vegetative activities=rest, relaxation
Promotes growth, energy storage

Sympathetic Branch
Activated in response to stress, emergencies. Mediates vigilance, arousal, activation, mobilization
Lame joke-responsible for the 4 F’s: flight, fight, freeze and sex
- Blood goes to limbs and areas that are needed for survival
- Decreased digestion, increased heart rate, dilates pupils

Much of our information comes from training and materials developed by:

Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed. CCC.
Compassion Fatigue Solutions Inc.

To review this presentation at any time,
go to www.prezi.com/explore
Search for Vicarious Trauma, Compassion Fatigue, and Burn Out.
Taken from Dr. Kevin M. Gilmartin's "Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement"
Taken from Dr. Kevin M. Gilmartin's "Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement"











"Those who do the best job and care the most about their police role, are extremely vulnerable to police stress" - Dr. Kevin Gilmartin

Awareness of own signs and symptoms can prevent CV, VT and Burnout=PTSD
- Helping others identify when things become too overwhelming.
- Increase longevity in careers
- Improve work life balance
Utilizing supports and other protective activities can help manage trauma exposure-Peer Support
Full transcript