Overburdened? Just over it?
Untangle how your work is affecting you, and create a strategy for support.
Maybe you know that your work is affecting you in a negative way. You sense that something is wrong with you, or even just not quite right – but you can’t pinpoint what it is.
Or you can see the impact work is having on a colleague and want to know how to best support them, and how to avoid following suit.
Possibly you’re certain that you’re absolutely fine – but someone who loves you sent you a link to this website…
Maybe you chose this path. Whether you’re a medical, legal, education, mental health or human services professional, when you first started out, your work felt meaningful, important, possibly even urgent. You were contributing to something bigger than you. You had optimism and idealism in abundance. If you’re honest, you wanted to save the world. But now that feels like a distant memory. A naïve distant memory.
Or perhaps you didn’t actively choose a ‘helping profession’ at all. You were focused on the academic side of what you do. You weren’t thinking about the impact that spending your days helping people would have. You assumed you could remain unaffected by trauma-exposure, or that you could just selectively numb out when needed. You really don’t want to have to deal with this.
Or it could be that you’re actually not quite sure how you ended up helping people for a living at all. You went to law school expecting to work in corporate, and unexpectedly wound up practising criminal law. You became a teacher and now find yourself working with at-risk students, or educating people in prison. You didn’t even know that you should know to be prepared for this.
However you arrived at where you are now, you’ve probably realised this:
Helping work does have a cost
It isn’t necessarily the case that your work isn’t rewarding.
But you’re tired. Crushingly tired.
Bone tired, soul tired, heart tired.
Perhaps you’re resentful. Cranky. Impatient.
Cynicism ran in while you weren't looking and has taken your optimism and your idealism hostage.
Maybe you’re angry. Or anxious. Perhaps sad. Full of grief at how the world is, and irritated that so many people seem to be carrying on, oblivious, as if everything is just fine.
You feel overwhelmed from feeling too much. Or you feel like you don’t care at all anymore. You hear, see, read terrible things and feel nothing. You’re numb.
Maybe you have nightmares, or flashbacks – things you’ve heard or seen at work. Trouble sleeping, or headaches, or nausea.
You might be self-medicating: drinking more, or taking drugs, to relax, to take the edge off.
And your view of the world has likely changed. Perhaps you experience no longer feeling safe. You have difficulty trusting people. Or an overwhelming sense of helplessness.
But you don’t have time to deal with any of this, I hear you say.
I know – I’ve been there.
But you also don’t want to keep feeling like this.
And you know the effects are not only impacting you alone:
You’re not doing your best work for those you are charged with helping.
You’re not being the person you want to be with your loved ones.
Are you ready to untangle how your work is affecting you?
I’ve walked a similar path to the one you’re on. My own experiences as a divorce lawyer are what led me to this work, and to return to university to undertake a Master of Social Work degree. I am passionate about, and bring a fundamentally unique perspective on, addressing compassion fatigue. Rather than just an academic exercise, I’ve lived the cause.
Helping work can feel isolating. Your family and friends, if they don’t do similar work, can’t understand. And while your colleagues ‘get it’, talking with them can develop into a mutual dump fest that results in everyone feeling further burdened. The idea of speaking to your boss might seem risky – what if it puts your job in jeopardy?
Enter Compassion Fatigue Coaching sessions.
During our sessions together you will feel heard. You will feel seen. You will get connected again to why you do your work.
We’ll explore how your work is affecting you, and how your responses in turn impact your work and personal life (because the suggestion that you can keep them entirely separate is a myth).
We’ll consider the ways you may, or may not, be experiencing compassion fatigue.
You will cultivate strategies to support you in dealing with the difficulties of trauma-exposure in your work, and also how to help others in similar situations.
You’ll find ways to continue doing the work you are committed to in the world, without it eating you from the inside out.
It won’t be easy – true change rarely is (and it will take real change to shift some deeply ingrained habits) – but you won’t be doing it alone.
“My hope in working with Rachel was that she would put enough fuel in my tank so that I could make it through the year. My plan was just about surviving work for as long as I needed to. After my sessions with Rachel, I find myself in a completely different position. I can look at the next few years and see myself as being able to offer something important in my role. I no longer feel the crushing weight of facing each work day and gritting my teeth to get through it. I have strategies and tools to deal with the challenging situations I see. And fantastically, I have been able to provide some of the information to my staff and I can see that it is making a difference for them. My sessions with Rachel were the appointment in my diary I looked forward to and I found Rachel caring, kind, chatty and knowledgeable. I have a new perspective and I have re-engaged with my work in a way I never expected.”
-C, Principal Legal Officer of an Aboriginal Family Violence Legal Service
So, shall we do this?
Here’s how Compassion Fatigue Sessions work:
- We will meet for six one-on-one sessions.
- Sessions are for one hour each week, for six consecutive weeks (unless something really significant comes up – I know life happens, but no rescheduling just because you can’t be bothered! Show up for the calls however you are: stressed, upset, pissed off, sarcastic, indifferent. Really. It's just the place to bring your whole self).
- We work together via Zoom or telephone, which allows us to work together wherever it is that you happen to be, and saves you the hassle of battling traffic or public transport woes. That said, if you do happen to be in Melbourne (Australia) and are interested in in-person sessions, please do let me know.
- Throughout the period we work together, I’ll be available for additional support via email.
- Before we begin our work together, you will complete a short intake form so that we’re ready to go from our very first session together.
$400 (AUD) (approximately $300 USD)
This is my introductory going-into-business price.
I’m a former divorce lawyer, currently completing a Master of Social Work, who has spent more than four years researching compassion fatigue. My one-on-one compassion fatigue sessions are the culmination of my experiences and my learning. It’s what I wish I’d had available when I was a practising lawyer.
I’m launching at this introductory price so you get the benefit of learning (for you, how to support yourself, and your colleagues, around compassion fatigue), while I do, too.
This introductory price is for my first five clients only. (Four spots left at this price.)
If you want to be one of my extra-special, early-bird clients, click the button below to fill out the brief Introductory Questionnaire so I have some understanding of where you’re at, and to make sure we are a good fit to work together.
Once you’ve submitted your completed questionnaire, I will respond within 48 hours. If the response is Let’s do this, I will then send you a link so that you can schedule your first session and we can get started!