Why are we at risk?
Whilst the teaching profession can be a very satisfying and rewarding profession, it can also be a very demanding profession which places people within, at risk if self-care is not practiced. Neglecting self-care can place employees at an increased emotional and physical risk because:-
- The work requires constant ‘empathic engagement’ with learners, their families and with colleagues
- We are constantly learning of another’s trauma – doesn’t have to be 1st person
- The need to ‘make sense’, and sometimes control our world
- We are constantly helping, listening and supporting others
- People constantly draw from our energy (a car will not run on an empty fuel tank!)
- Some learners are physically demanding
- Constant changes in Education
- Workload demand which impacts on work/life balance
This all accumulates over time!
Faces of Trauma
Vicarious Trauma (VT) is the process of change that happens because you care about other people who have been hurt and feel committed or responsible to help them. Over time this process can lead to changes in your psychological, physical and spiritual wellbeing. It is not just your responses to one person, one story or situation. It is the cumulative effect of contact with survivors.
Secondary traumatic is the emotional pressure that results when an individual hears about the first-hand trauma experiences of another. Its symptoms can mimic those of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Compassion fatigue, is a condition characterised by a gradual lessening of compassion towards over time, sometimes accompanied by frustration toward survivors.
Exhaustion, lack of enthusiasm and motivation, feelings of ineffectiveness, and also may have the dimension of frustration or cynicism, and as a result reduced efficacy within the workplace. Often caused by prolonged stress.