Reconnecting to What Matters…
Moving From Fatigue to Wholeness
Vicarious trauma – Is the a powerful stress reaction to the exposure
to the trauma of others. It is also often referred to as burn out and
compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma occur
more frequently when people feel powerless to change a situation.
Signs and Symptoms of
Changes in Core Beliefs: When we are
face to face with the suffering of others on a
daily basis it can challenge our core beliefs
about the world, others and ourselves.
People Can Experience:
• Changes in spiritual beliefs: People can question prior beliefs or feel a
since of fear about place in the world. This can lead to hopelessness
• Changes in identity and practice: People can feel like
they compromise their values, feel like their work
subsumes their entire life. It can lead to putting all
one’s time into work due to feeling disconnected from
other roles e.g. parent, spouse or friend.
• Change basic since of safety: For example, changes in
how vulnerable you believe you, and others that you
care about, are to harm.
Physical & Psychological signs
• Hyperarousal: Nightmares,
difficulty concentrating, being
easily startled, sleep difficulties.
• Repeated thoughts or images of
• Feeling numb/detached.
• Generalized despair and
hopelessness, and loss of
• Guilt regarding your own
survival and/or pleasure
• Irritability, Anger, Cynicism,
Behavior & relationship signs
• Difficulty setting boundaries
with work. Not having
time/energy for yourself.
• Feeling disconnected from loved
ones and social withdrawal.
• Increased conflict.
• Unable to pay attention to
other’s distressing stories
• Decreased interest in activities
that used to bring pleasure,
enjoyment, or relaxation
• Irritable, intolerant, agitated,
impatient, needy, and/or moody
• Increased dependencies or
addictions involving nicotine,
alcohol, food, sex, shopping…