If you are working in the helping professions, this article might be of interest to you.

Working in the helping professions means a high risk of exposure to trauma. “Those who have enormous capacity for feeling and expressing empathy tend to be more at risk of compassion stress” (Figley, 1995). 

Nurses frequently suffer from compassion fatigue, counsellors and trauma workers suffer from burnout and/or secondary trauma. There are a number of organisational factors that can help to prevent and also to help the affected worker deal with this. Sadly though, often organisations are happy to employ the worker, but not equipped to adequately protect them. Self-care is essential to not suffer from burnout.


Make use of counselling – it might be available to you for free through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or GP.  Counselling can help to process the feelings you encounter in an emotionally difficult job.  Counselling can also support you in processing and releasing secondary trauma responses.


Look after yourself: get adequate sleep, eat well, get exercise 3 times a week.
Pamper yourself: Book regular pampering sessions at the local spa, massages,
Reconnect with others: family and friends.  Spend time with them, making sure you are present.
Spiritual connection has shown to help keep one’s personal spark.
Enjoy hobbies: take up a new hobby, start a new club (e.g. book club), learn a new craft, take up dance lessons.