Doug with Casey who clearly doesn’t like having her picture taken.
- January 1971: I graduated from San Jose State University in California with a B.A. in radio-TV-film.
- September 1971: I walked into the Lane Humane Society (Eugene, Oregon).
- I worked in animal shelters 19 years, mostly as executive director.
- July 1990: I began full-time teaching and consulting around the world, 1.8 million air miles.
- January 2014: I retired from full time traveling and teaching, but contine to teach Compassion Fatigue classes.
Contact Doug at: firstname.lastname@example.org
MANAGING COMPASSION FATIGUE WORKSHOP
A Workshop for Shelter Staff and Volunteers
(Contact Doug for scheduling information if you'd like this workshop for your staff)
Remember that first day on the job, how wondrous to be actually doing what was for so long just a dream? Somebody pinch me, I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this! But before long the dream job turns into a nightmare. Same job, same person but something has changed. The change is caused by the repeated pain of seeing animals who are unwanted, hurt, sick, dying and dead; and the repeated frustration of dealing with people who seem to care so little for their companion animals.
She found the perfect job, helping animals and would never leave. But after less than 2 years she quit and now works in a restaurant, a vague feeling of discomfort whenever she recalls her work at the shelter.
No one at the shelter likes her, she’s always angry, rude to co-workers and the public alike yet she’s so wonderful with “her” cats that her behavior is tolerated.
The two examples above are in part characteristic of what is variously called: caregiver’s disease, secondary traumatic stress, vicarious trauma, lateral violence, repetitive stress of the heart, or simply “compassion stress”.
Simply put, compassion stress is what happens to caring and compassionate individuals as a result of their work on behalf of animals (or people). They care and they care and they care some more and then, their compassion exhausted, they begin to care less and less and less. Untreated, unmanaged, compassion stress contributes to burnout. Burnout results in loss of compassion and feelings of fear, dread and loathing for what once brought joy.
Don’t let the job eat your lunch, learn to manage your compassion stress at this informative, interactive workshop facilitated by Doug Fakkema, nationally known speaker and lecturer on compassion stress and compassion fatigue.
Doug teaching "Managing Compassion Stress" in West Virginia.