Empathy Fatigue & Resilience

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Information about Empathy Fatigue & Resilience

Published on March 18, 2010

Author: annedran

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Understand the impact of what happens during prolonged stress at work and how to deal effectively with it.

Empathy Fatigue and Mindfulness Anne Dranitsaris, Ph.D. Sage, Kahuna Enterprises

Agenda Key Challenges Empathy or Compassion Fatigue The Brain and Emotional Management React vs. Respond Tools & Techniques Introduction to Mindfulness Three-Minute Breathing Space Next Steps

Key Challenges

Empathy or Compassion Fatigue

The Brain and Emotional Management

React vs. Respond

Tools & Techniques

Introduction to Mindfulness

Three-Minute Breathing Space

Next Steps

Resilient Professionals Convey a sense of genuine commitment and confidence to help with their client’s stress levels and critical issues Communicate competence and have a good sense of mastery with handling challenging and difficult clients Feel optimistic, positive, and energetic about the good work they do and have good coping resources Have a purpose-driven life, find meaning with their profession and practice good self-care techniques Maintain excellent interpersonal insight and still have the capacity for warmth, caring, and empathy

Convey a sense of genuine commitment and confidence to help with their client’s stress levels and critical issues

Communicate competence and have a good sense of mastery with handling challenging and difficult clients

Feel optimistic, positive, and energetic about the good work they do and have good coping resources

Have a purpose-driven life, find meaning with their profession and practice good self-care techniques

Maintain excellent interpersonal insight and still have the capacity for warmth, caring, and empathy

Theory of Empathy or Compassion Fatigue Persons who work in “high touch” professions are more vulnerable than those that don’t… A natural artifact of working with clients that have intense acute and chronic physical conditions, mental health conditions, and behavioral health issues. Many times an unconscious process where the professional and those around them may not recognize. EF is cumulative and ranges on a continuum of low, moderate, and high levels of physical-emotional-mental spiritual, and occupational exhaustion.

Persons who work in “high touch” professions are more vulnerable than those that don’t…

A natural artifact of working with clients that have intense acute and chronic physical conditions, mental health conditions, and behavioral health issues.

Many times an unconscious process where the professional and those around them may not recognize.

EF is cumulative and ranges on a continuum of low, moderate, and high levels of physical-emotional-mental spiritual, and occupational exhaustion.

Button Pressing Difficult clients elicit emotional reactions Can shift us from objective responses to emotional reactions Understanding how this works and behaviours associated with emotional reactions can help us depersonalize Need to understand how the brain “downshifts” when we have our buttons pressed

Difficult clients elicit emotional reactions

Can shift us from objective responses to emotional reactions

Understanding how this works and behaviours associated with emotional reactions can help us depersonalize

Need to understand how the brain “downshifts” when we have our buttons pressed

Your Greatest Challenge We all have clients who “push our buttons”. Exercise: Take a moment, reflect and: Identify two or three challenging client situations How does this situation “press your buttons” Share with the group

We all have clients who “push our buttons”.

Exercise: Take a moment, reflect and:

Identify two or three challenging client situations

How does this situation “press your buttons”

Share with the group

The Triune Brain The Reptilian Brain Survival “ Kill or be Killed” Limbic System Cooperation, bonding Emotional memory Empathy, appetite Neocortex Planning, objectivity Interpretation and control

The Reptilian Brain

Survival

“ Kill or be Killed”

Limbic System

Cooperation, bonding

Emotional memory

Empathy, appetite

Neocortex

Planning, objectivity

Interpretation and control

Downshifting When downshifting, full use of the rational brain is suspended and more control is given to our lower brains We react using emotional reasoning, protecting ourselves from perceived threats

When downshifting, full use of the rational brain is suspended and more control is given to our lower brains

We react using emotional reasoning, protecting ourselves from perceived threats

Human Instinctive Drift

Fight or Flight Reactions “ Fight or flight” reactions are the physiological changes we undergo when we perceive a threat or attack from others.

“ Fight or flight” reactions are the physiological changes we undergo when we perceive a threat or attack from others.

Cause of Empathy Fatigue When hyper-arousal occurs during prolonged or chronic stress. There is an excessive release of stress hormones and neurotransmitters. Internalizing the stress reaction doesn’t bring the resolution of fighting or fleeing and can lead to illness. During prolonged or chronic stress, hyper-arousal becomes a way of life or “normal”. We are in a constant state of fatigue

When hyper-arousal occurs during prolonged or chronic stress.

There is an excessive release of stress hormones and neurotransmitters.

Internalizing the stress reaction doesn’t bring the resolution of fighting or fleeing and can lead to illness.

During prolonged or chronic stress, hyper-arousal becomes a way of life or “normal”.

We are in a constant state of fatigue

React Vs. Respond

React Vs. Respond To React is to: be driven by motivations outside of awareness have an attachment to the outcome act based on assumptions or point of view act before the other person has even finished their sentence feel subjected to a feeling or compelled to action in answer to something

To React is to:

be driven by motivations outside of awareness

have an attachment to the outcome

act based on assumptions or point of view

act before the other person has even finished their sentence

feel subjected to a feeling or compelled to action in answer to something

React Vs. Respond Easier to react as it takes less immediate effort on our brain’s part A reaction is instinctive, automatic and based on the perception of threat Often we react when a dissatisfaction has built to the point of explosion We are more reactive when tired, sick or when our buttons are pushed

Easier to react as it takes less immediate effort on our brain’s part

A reaction is instinctive, automatic and based on the perception of threat

Often we react when a dissatisfaction has built to the point of explosion

We are more reactive when tired, sick or when our buttons are pushed

React Vs. Respond To Respond is to: act or behave in answer to something with choice act consciously using objectivity choose to be fully present to what’s happening have no immediate concern about the outcome have a willingness to hear what is being said, so when the other person is finished speaking, you can respond from a place of wanting to find a resolution and the other person feels like they were understood.

To Respond is to:

act or behave in answer to something with choice

act consciously using objectivity

choose to be fully present to what’s happening

have no immediate concern about the outcome

have a willingness to hear what is being said, so when the other person is finished speaking, you can respond from a place of wanting to find a resolution and the other person feels like they were understood.

React Vs. Respond React      Respond     Knee jerk    Considered Fear/Anger-based Centered Anxious Calm Short Term Long Term I win Nobody Loses Rushed Poised Habitual Creative Quick fix Cure Few options Many options One-dimensional Whole person Unsure Knowledgeable

React Vs. Respond If you are willing to refocus away from emotional reactions, you can put yourself in a response mode. Responding takes more effort. Responding forces us to grow and accept responsibility for our behaviour, However, communication and relationships are improved, A response adds to what has already been said or done, but there is usually no drive or pressure to make the response.

If you are willing to refocus away from emotional reactions, you can put yourself in a response mode.

Responding takes more effort.

Responding forces us to grow and accept responsibility for our behaviour,

However, communication and relationships are improved,

A response adds to what has already been said or done, but there is usually no drive or pressure to make the response.

Non Defensive Communication and Your Reacting Style

Non-Defensive Communication We use defensive behaviours when we are under attack by others It is normal and natural for us to become defensive when the attack is real However, there are times when we are defensive when there is no direct attack We are defensive because we perceive an attack

We use defensive behaviours when we are under attack by others

It is normal and natural for us to become defensive when the attack is real

However, there are times when we are defensive when there is no direct attack

We are defensive because we perceive an attack

Non-Defensive Communication Reactions to defensive behaviours in others are: Avoidance behaviours shut down stifle our initiative fight back with passive aggression Meet defensiveness with defensiveness take an opposing position attack the other person

Reactions to defensive behaviours in others are:

Avoidance behaviours

shut down

stifle our initiative

fight back with passive aggression

Meet defensiveness with defensiveness

take an opposing position

attack the other person

Non-Defensive Communication Reacting Styles Used when stress is excessive Natural reaction to help us cope with conflict or stress Essential outlets to relieve stress Tend to impair relationships with others Habitual use will greatly reduce our effectiveness with others

Reacting Styles

Used when stress is excessive

Natural reaction to help us cope with conflict or stress

Essential outlets to relieve stress

Tend to impair relationships with others

Habitual use will greatly reduce our effectiveness with others

Reacting Style Behaviour Reactive behaviour as opposed to responsive behaviour Indicates that the person is under excessive stress Reactions come from the need to protect oneself Makes interpersonal problem solving, or negotiation, impossible Need to recognize when others are reacting Need to recognize when you are reacting

Reactive behaviour as opposed to responsive behaviour

Indicates that the person is under excessive stress

Reactions come from the need to protect oneself

Makes interpersonal problem solving, or negotiation, impossible

Need to recognize when others are reacting

Need to recognize when you are reacting

Reacting Styles There are four styles which help manage excessive tension: Driving Style - Autocrat manages excessive tension by controlling people with facts, logic, and reason Expressive Style - Attacker manages excessive tension by controlling people with emotions and feelings Amiable Style - Acquiescer manages excessive tension by giving in to people Analytical Style - Avoider manages excessive tension by limiting his or her exposure to people

There are four styles which help manage excessive tension:

Driving Style - Autocrat

manages excessive tension by controlling people with facts, logic, and reason

Expressive Style - Attacker

manages excessive tension by controlling people with emotions and feelings

Amiable Style - Acquiescer

manages excessive tension by giving in to people

Analytical Style - Avoider

manages excessive tension by limiting his or her exposure to people

Coping or Reacting Styles AVOID (ANALYTICAL) ACQUIESCER (AMIABLE) AUTOCRAT (DRIVER) ATTACKER (EXPRESSIVE) EMOTE ASK TELL CONTROL Low High Assertiveness High Responsiveness Low

What is Your Reacting Style?

Non-Defensive Communication The challenge is: to know when we are in our Reacting Style to know when others are in their Reacting Style and not react to it to accept it as normal and natural to keep from making it habitual to work to minimize it to keep from triggering backup behaviour in others

The challenge is:

to know when we are in our Reacting Style

to know when others are in their Reacting Style and not react to it

to accept it as normal and natural

to keep from making it habitual

to work to minimize it

to keep from triggering backup behaviour in others

Non-Defensive Communication Exercise Write out a client conflict situation. Based on a past, present or recurring problem / conflict. Identify: what goes/went wrong what is/was the objective of the discussion what might be/have been done differently

Write out a client conflict situation.

Based on a past, present or recurring problem / conflict.

Identify:

what goes/went wrong

what is/was the objective of the discussion

what might be/have been done differently

Tips for Building Resilience

What is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is a way of developing greater awareness and control of habitual negative thought patterns, and automatic emotional, physiological and behavioral reactions. Mindfulness is about the stance you take to all that occurs, the easy and the difficult. Allowing, not avoiding, the difficult mental states does not mean liking them, or condoning them, or being passively resigned to them. Mindfulness is a way of responding to stress rather than reacting to it. Mindfulness is not about achieving a blissed-out state, or an empty mind, or peace of mind.

Mindfulness is a way of developing greater awareness and control of habitual negative thought patterns, and automatic emotional, physiological and behavioral reactions.

Mindfulness is about the stance you take to all that occurs, the easy and the difficult.

Allowing, not avoiding, the difficult mental states does not mean liking them, or condoning them, or being passively resigned to them.

Mindfulness is a way of responding to stress rather than reacting to it.

Mindfulness is not about achieving a blissed-out state, or an empty mind, or peace of mind.

Breathing and Mindfulness Why focus on the breath? It is always there. It takes place in the present. We can observe it and the quality of it. The very act of intentionally bringing awareness to the breath involves taking up mental space that might otherwise have gone to rumination, self-judgment, worrying. The simple act of registering that the mind has wandered, noting where it has gone, and returning to the breath, promotes the skills of decentering.

Why focus on the breath?

It is always there.

It takes place in the present.

We can observe it and the quality of it.

The very act of intentionally bringing awareness to the breath involves taking up mental space that might otherwise have gone to rumination, self-judgment, worrying.

The simple act of registering that the mind has wandered, noting where it has gone, and returning to the breath, promotes the skills of decentering.

Breathing and Mindfulness Follow Breath Regain Awareness Get Distracted

Three Minute Breathing Space Complete the following 3 steps with acceptance and without judgment: Step One: Focus awareness on the range of internal experiences happening right now include body sensations notice thoughts and emotional states Step Two: Focus full attention on the movement and sensations of breathing Step Three: Expand awareness to the body as a whole including posture and facial expression notice the sensations that are present

Complete the following 3 steps with acceptance and

without judgment:

Step One: Focus awareness on the range of internal experiences happening right now

include body sensations

notice thoughts and emotional states

Step Two: Focus full attention on the movement and sensations of breathing

Step Three: Expand awareness to the body as a whole

including posture and facial expression

notice the sensations that are present

Tips for Building Resilience Do Find someone to talk to Understand that the pain you feel is normal Start exercising and eating properly Get enough sleep Take some time off Develop interests outside of your profession Identify what's important to you

Do

Find someone to talk to

Understand that the pain you feel is normal

Start exercising and eating properly

Get enough sleep

Take some time off

Develop interests outside of your profession

Identify what's important to you

Tips for Building Resilience Don't: Blame others Look for a new job, buy a new car, get a divorce or have an affair Fall into the habit of complaining with your colleagues Pick a fight with a co-worker Work harder and longer Self-medicate Neglect your own needs and interests

Don't:

Blame others

Look for a new job, buy a new car, get a divorce or have an affair

Fall into the habit of complaining with your colleagues

Pick a fight with a co-worker

Work harder and longer

Self-medicate

Neglect your own needs and interests

Tips for Managing Difficult Clients Remember to breathe! Be conscious of the tendency to react to the emotion being expressed. Choose instead to respond mindfully to the situation Be aware of the limits of your ability to help, and develop the capacity to recognize when you have reached those limits Develop awareness of what triggers you to “downshift” – words, tones, etc. Learn to recognize when its happening so you can bring yourself out of it

Remember to breathe!

Be conscious of the tendency to react to the emotion being expressed. Choose instead to respond mindfully to the situation

Be aware of the limits of your ability to help, and develop the capacity to recognize when you have reached those limits

Develop awareness of what triggers you to “downshift” – words, tones, etc. Learn to recognize when its happening so you can bring yourself out of it

Tips for Managing Difficult Clients Learn to accept what you do and do not have control over Learn techniques for de-personalization Recognize when your ability to empathize is leading to being taken advantage of by a client Understand that sometimes being compassionate means saying no. While you can understand and acknowledge a person’s difficulty, it is not your responsibility to carry it for them

Learn to accept what you do and do not have control over

Learn techniques for de-personalization

Recognize when your ability to empathize is leading to being taken advantage of by a client

Understand that sometimes being compassionate means saying no. While you can understand and acknowledge a person’s difficulty, it is not your responsibility to carry it for them

Contact Us For more information about our services, contact us at [email_address] or 416.406.3939. Visit our websites at: Sagekahuna.com Annedranitsaris.com Mindfultherapies.com Caliberleadership.com

For more information about our services, contact us at [email_address] or 416.406.3939.

Visit our websites at:

Sagekahuna.com

Annedranitsaris.com

Mindfultherapies.com

Caliberleadership.com

 

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