Known as the “cost of caring,” compassion fatigue is a natural consequence inherent in many helping professions, such as animal welfare workers, law enforcement, firefighters, therapists, health care workers, and all others in helping or caregiving roles. With a background as a shelter worker and animal control officer, Jennifer Blough, LPC, is highly trained in treating compassion fatigue among people in the animal welfare and animal rights/vegan communities.
Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue
- Depression or feeling sad
- Insomnia (trouble falling or staying asleep)
- Frequent nightmares or flashbacks
- Fatigue or low energy
- Anger or irritability
- Withdrawing from others
- Feeling of isolation
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Loss of interest in things
- Lack of motivation
- Relationship conflicts (personal and/or professional)
- Feelings of guilt
- Feelings of emptiness
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling numb or apathetic
- Work problems (often late, lots of sick days, etc.)
- Poor concentration
- Bodily complaints such as headaches or sore muscles
- Intrusive thoughts
- Feeling hopeless
- Unhelpful coping skills, such as substance abuse
- Negative worldview or outlook on life
- Suicidal thoughts
The Animal Welfare Warrior Wellness Club
The Animal Welfare Warrior Wellness Club is a virtual wellness program designed to helping those involved in animal welfare and animal rights manage compassion fatigue, burnout, and traumatic stress. Join this safe and nonjudgmental wellness program and find understanding, guidance, education, and support to help you build resiliency and make your passion for helping animals sustainable!
- Custom-designed wellness programs for organizations
- Weekly and monthly wellness challenges with prizes
- Online community support and encouragement
- Worksheets, assessments, and other activities to help build resiliency
- Convenient and affordable!
- Also available for individuals
Compassion Fatigue Book
To Save a Starfish: A Compassion Fatigue Workbook for the Animal Welfare Community
So, what is compassion fatigue anyway?
Compassion fatigue has been described by traumatologist Charles Figley (1982) as the “cost of caring” for others in emotional pain. He adds that “the display of symptoms is the natural consequence of stress resulting from caring and helping traumatized or suffering people or animals” (Figley, 1995).
To Save a Starfish is a self-care workbook designed to help you recognize the symptoms and warning signs of compassion fatigue and burnout. You’ll discover practical and proven strategies to reduce anxiety, control anger, ward off depression, manage stress, and improve your overall well-being. Not only will you learn techniques on how to conquer compassion fatigue, but also how to cultivate compassion satisfaction – the key to staying strong, healthy, and energized so that you can to continue to fight for those who don’t have a voice.
Who is this book for?
Shelter staff, animal control officers, veterinarians, vet techs, euthanasia techs, rescue workers, foster parents, management, support staff, wildlife rehabilitators, volunteers, animal advocates, ethical vegetarians and vegans, animal rights activists, animal attorneys, and anyone else involved with the care and protection of animals.
“Such a needed publication! This is a highly accessible workbook to help the many people silently suffering with the very real compassion fatigue.” – Amazon Review
“One of the most comprehensive book out there, on COMPASSION FATIGUE among animal welfare workers. Two thumbs up!” – Amazon Review
“This is a must read for animal advocates, professionals, volunteers, and then ones caring for animals. The raw truth, the science, and very helpful advice. Highly recommended.” – Amazon Review