Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue, Burnout, Secondary Traumatic Stress, Vicarious Traumatization, and Vicarious Transformation
Dr. Beth Hudnall Stamm developed this revised "pocket card" about caring for yourself in the face of difficult work for the current COVID-19 health crisis. (Click image to the right for a larger version .) Please use, copy, and distribute it freely, as long as (a) authors are credited, (b) no changes are made, and (c) it is not sold. We hope you find it useful.
After many years of development by Dr. Beth Hudnall Stamm, ownership of the ProQOL has been transferred to the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT). CVT is a mental health and human rights NGO operating in several countries around the world. The ProQOL will remain free and available for use and, over time, this website will be cleaned and updated to include even more information. In the meantime, any queries about the ProQOL and this website should be directed to the ProQOL Office at CVT. CVT is excited and honored to assume this responsibility and thanks Dr. Stamm for her trust in us.
Can I use the information on this website for presentations, research and writing papers?
Of course! We built this website so that you would have free and easy access to a multitude of resources on Compassion Satisfaction, Compassion Fatigue and Professional Quality of Life. We know that accessing tools requires resources. The resources you need for the ProQOL are your energy, vision and commitment. We do not want you to have to pay for the resources on this site. Please use, share, and help us improve the tools and information we have. To use the ProQOL, please request permission by clicking this page.
Professional quality of life is the quality one feels in relation to their work as a helper. Both the positive and negative aspects of doing your work influence your professional quality of life. People who work helping others may respond to individual, community, national, and even international crises. They may be health care professionals, social service workers, teachers, attorneys, police officers, firefighters, clergy, transportation staff, disaster responders, and others. Understanding the positive and negative aspects of helping those who experience trauma and suffering can improve your ability to help them and your ability to keep your own balance.
Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue are two aspects of Professional Quality of Life. They encompass the positive (Compassion Satisfaction) and the negative (Compassion Fatigue) parts of helping others who have experienced suffering. Compassion fatigue breaks into two parts. The first part concerns things such as such as exhaustion, frustration, anger and depression typical of burnout. Secondary Traumatic Stress is a negative feeling driven by fear and work-related trauma. It is important to remember that some trauma at work can be direct (primary) trauma. In other cases, work-related trauma be a combination of both primary and secondary trauma. If working with others' suffering changes you so deeply in negative ways that your understanding of yourself changes, this is vicarious traumatization. Learning from and understanding vicarious traumatization can lead one to vicarious transformation.