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Compassion Fatigue: From Awareness to Action

Debbie Stoewen, DVM, MSW, RSW, PhD


Compassion fatigue can affect anyone in the role of healer, helper, or rescuer. As Hilfiker describes it: “All of us who attempt to heal the wounds of others will ourselves be wounded; it is, after all, inherent in the relationship.” This workshop is for anyone who works in the animal health and welfare industries (e.g. hospitals, rescues, assistance teams, humane societies, shelters, and animal control) and offers the opportunity to participate in an interactive discovery session inviting your awareness and experiences to learn about compassion fatigue. As our understanding of it continues to evolve, the session will also include the latest research findings. Following the session, there will be rotating round-table discussions brainstorming strategies that may be helpful to manage compassion fatigue, from the individual to the organizational level, which will then be shared with the larger group for mutual benefit. The beauty of this workshop lies in diversity, with people from various disciplines sharing their perspectives to together generate the most promising strategies.

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