Overcoming Compassion Fatigue to Gain Unimaginable Rewards

Overcoming Compassion Fatigue to Gain Unimaginable Rewards

Frequent contact with violent images and stories exposes advocates to the risk of developing their own post-traumatic stress symptoms. Virtually, we are in dozens of places at once, attuned to the vulnerability and suffering of animals and people all over the world. Impunity and dismissive attitudes about suffering—public gaps in empathy—increase the risk for this sort of vicarious trauma. Learn how to cultivate vicarious resilience in our webinar with physician, author, and advocate Hope Ferdowsian, MD, MPH.

Vicarious trauma—also referred to as compassion fatigue—has the potential to undermine social progress. Tragedies, even those we don’t experience directly, stay with us. Our bodies absorb the visceral costs of compassion in an imperfect world. Associated symptoms including intellectual inflexibility, cynicism, and distrust of others which can compromise efforts to raise awareness and to summon action.

Though caring has an emotional cost, it also provides an inexplicable emotional gift. Caring can make us more hopeful and courageous—a notion called “vicarious resilience” in the field of psychology. Then we can focus on a holistic anti-oppression framework—one that can disrupt the forces that lead to violence and suffering.

Hope empowers us during our next Sustainable Activism Webinar on Thursday, December 7, 5 pm – 6 pm PT (8 pm – 9 pm ET). You can join this live webinar via phone or online, or listen to the replay later.

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