PTSD, stress, secondary trauma (vicarious trauma) and compassion fatigue represent a serious problem for people who care for, hear about or witness the intense suffering of others. Ultimately, this can lead to burnout. Several professions are at high risk including physicians, attorneys, nurses, psychologists, counselors, social workers, hospice workers, adult and child protective service workers. Those who care for people in nursing homes and those who care for patients at home are also at risk. Families who care for suffering relatives are particularly vulnerable to these problems.
This information outlines 14 steps that can be taken to increase resilience to this form of stress. Two effective approaches are underscored for desensitizing traumatic stress and calming the emotional midbrain. The presentation provides links to information that explains the nature of the problem and offers practical self-help interventions.