What is Compassion Fatigue?

The work of supporting others requires health care professionals to open their hearts and minds to their clients and patients. Unfortunately, the very process of empathy is what makes helping professionals vulnerable to being profoundly affected by their work. Compassion fatigue is also known as caregiver fatigue, burnout, or vicarious (or secondary) trauma.

Who Is Affected by Compassion Fatigue?

  • Health care professionals (nurses, physicians, etc.)
  • Mental health care professionals (counsellors, therapists, social workers, etc.)
  • First responders and emergency personnel (police, fire, paramedic, etc.)
  • Anyone in a helping role or customer service position
  • Anyone in a caregiver role to a friend/family member

How Do I Know If I Am Being Affected by Compassion Fatigue?

  • Reduced effectiveness at work
  • Emotional fatigue and exhaustion
  • Sleep disturbances/nightmares
  • Feeling powerless/negative
  • Headaches/physical tension
  • Relationship strain and conflict
  • Difficulty concentrating/intrusive images
  • Irritability and anger

Counselling Provides Can Help You to Cope with Burnout and Compassion Fatigue:

  • Express and process the emotional strain of providing care for others
  • Enhance awareness of your own needs and boundaries
  • Learn healthier ways of coping with/managing stress
  • Take positive steps to improve self-care and support
  • Work through difficult emotions/events
  • Become unstuck and find a new perspective
  • Improve relationships with yourself and others
  • Identify and change self-sabotaging patterns

Which Counsellors Provide Therapy for Compassion Fatigue & Burnout?


Make an appointment using the online scheduling system, by email, or by calling 604-568-6765.