Caring for the Hearts of People Caring for Others
You have a big heart. You're driven by your desire to make the world a better place.
Sometimes, though, your big heart gets crushed by what you experience or stories you hear or read.
Whether you’re employed or volunteer in an organization that cares for humans, animals, your community, or the earth, sometimes it can be difficult to keep a positive attitude. You might notice yourself resisting going in, crying on breaks (you do take breaks, don’t you?! ), overusing “mood enhancers” or other numbing activities, or getting negative about the whole world!
Don’t let that spiral continue downward. I can tell you from personal experience that it can get horribly bad. And I can tell you (from research and personal experience) that you can face it and take action to fix it. And return to being a person who can share your heart and make a positive difference.
I can help you with all that, and help you avoid it altogether. We can work together individually, with a group of your co-workers or other local carers, or through your organization. Contact me or read more first.
(I especially love working with people in animal care: veterinary, shelter, rescue, etc.)
Learn to identify "the costs of caring"*, avoid crashing, and (if needed) dig your way out
Individual Support & Information
– understand what's going on and where it comes from
– explore how it has – or can – hit you, based on your life experiences and outlook
– identify what will help you and create a plan that will work for you
– learn to avoid the causes
– celebrate your progress!
Consultations on Specific Situations
• Debriefing after you've been through a difficult situation
• Acute care when you start to feel like things are building up
• Screening for additional needs and referrals as appropriate
*"costs of caring": Figley & Roop (2006)
Group support & education
(May include employees & volunteers from multiple organizations)
Facilitated Support Groups
Just being in a supportive space, with others facing similar concerns, can allow you to relax, which can help you start exploring what can help further. Share your insights and learn from what others bring. Groups are facilitated to avoid secondary traumatization.
Seminars & experiential workshops
• The "Costs of Caring"*
– Why people who care can suffer because of their big hearts.
– How it can negatively affect you, your work, and relationships
– What to do about it
• other seminars under development
Help Your Family and Loved Ones Understand
A workshop to explore the delicate balance of requesting and receiving support from your family and friends, and the need to keep from sharing too much.
Help for organizations
• Proactive Overview
– Understanding compassion fatigue, burnout, secondary traumatization, empathy fatigue, moral injury
– Assessment of organizational status through confidential individual feedback (if okay with participants)
– General suggestions for taking self-responsibility and avoiding problems
• Facilitated group brainstorming of helpful actions for the organization and for individuals
Creation of In-House Support Group
Help with organizing an organization-based support group so it can become self-sustaining.
Custom retreats based on needs.
On-Site Check-Ins and Support
• Scheduled or on-request visits to check in with staff members:
– provide space and time for individuals' expressions of frustrations
– help individuals see a way out and identify steps to take. Help create a personalized plan. Check progress on individuals' progress.
• Provide management with a "barometer reading" of staff as a whole, and (with permission) suggestions to check in with individuals.