Burnout & Compassion Fatigue

What happens when you discover something you once loved doing has become exhausting, draining, and no longer enjoyable? Do you find yourself feeling cynical, isolated, hopeless, or anxious? Are you experiencing intrusive thoughts, loss of empathy, disruptive sleep, or difficulty focusing? According to Dr. Charles Figley, compassion fatigue is described as the “cost of caring” for others in emotional and physical pain.

Caring for others and working hard can take its toll physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. When this happens, it can leave you feeling completely depleted. Your passion, heart, concern, and empathy for others. The great qualities that brought you into your role as a caregiver are the very things, which can contribute to compassion fatigue and burnout.

Although burnout and compassion fatigue are different, they can co-exist. Professions such as nurses, doctors, pastors, veterinarians, child protective service workers, therapists, policemen, firemen, hospice workers, ministry leaders/volunteers, missionary workers, and those caring for family members who are critically and chronically ill are highly susceptible.

If you find yourself experiencing the effects of compassion fatigue or burnout and you’re ready to move from caregiver to care-receiver, we can help. Our team at HWC understands the cost of caring, and we desire to help you experience relief, hope, and healing so you can continue in your role as a healthy caregiver.


“Cumulative process marked by emotional exhaustion and withdrawal associated with increased workload and institutional stress, not trauma-related.”

Source: stress.org

Compassion Fatigue:

“Compassion Fatigue is a state experienced by those helping people or animals in distress; it is an extreme state of tension and preoccupation with the suffering of those being helped to the degree that it can create a secondary traumatic stress for the helper.”

Source: Dr. Charles Figley

Hope & Wellness Center
11414 W. Center Road Suite #300
Omaha, Nebraska

(402) 639-2901


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Fri: 9am – 5pm
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Sunday: By appointment only

Early morning and late evening by appointment only

“We have not been directly exposed to the trauma scene, but we hear the story told with such intensity, or we hear similar stories so often, or we have the git and curse of extreme empathy and we suffer. We feel the feelings of our clients. We experience their fears. We dream their dreams. Eventually, we lose a certain spark of optimism, humor, and hope. We tire. We aren’t sick, but we aren’t ourselves.

-C. Figley, 1995

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