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Enhancing Your Practice: Recognizing and Managing Compassion Fatigue in Student Affairs

Supporting the Profession Wellness and Health Promotion
Zelideh Martinez Hoy

Student affairs professionals are often the counselors, advocates, and support for students in disenfranchising situations.  Many times those working with these students are not fully equipped for these multiple roles and stress may have an impact on their personal well-being. This interactive discussion series will include activities and discussions to highlight the concept of compassion fatigue, how it manifests in student affairs, and ways to manage the symptoms for professional and personal success.

While student affairs professionals are uniquely positioned to advocate for students with a variety of needs, the complexities and challenges that students bring call for advocates to intimately connect with student at that deeper level that extends beyond the office or even institutional resources. Whether students are living in their cars to students with socially-stigmatized identities, professionals are impacted by the experience of their students compounded by the demands of their job and lives. Compassion fatigue is a result of helping or wanting to help a traumatized person (Figley, 2002). Subsequently, it can lead to inadequate self-care and increased sacrifice in the helper role.

Through this live briefing, attendees will be able to reflect upon their own professional experiences, recognize and identify compassion fatigue in their work, and take away strategies to reach compassion satisfaction in their professional and personal lives.  Through research and experiential evidence: 1.) Presenters will address personal and work place conditions impacting compassion fatigue and secondary trauma, 2) Inform student affairs professionals about the concept of compassion fatigue and accompanying symptoms, 3.) Provide an opportunity to reflect and assess their professional practices and the role their background plays in successfully advocating for students, and as a community 4.) Facilitate the development of strategies for self-care.

Drs. Martinez Hoy and Nguyen have given over a dozen presentations on the impact of compassion fatigue on professional careers for student affairs and higher education professionals, public interest lawyers, and pro bono disaster legal services lawyers.

Learning Outcomes

The attendees will:

  • Learn about the foundations & concept of compassion fatigue
  • Identify compassion fatigue symptoms
  • Understand the unique interplay of susceptibility to compassion fatigue from on one’s own identity and the students served
  • Reflect upon their professional experiences relating to compassion fatigue
  • Develop skills to manage their compassion fatigue
  • Feel refreshed and validated in their professional lives
Course Length
Course Type
On Demand

Register Online