If you work in healthcare, you probably have been reminded to “do self-care!” more often than you wish! This is also true if you are a different kind of first responder or professional caregiver. When you work in a field that exposes you to the suffering of others, it is a challenge not to have some of that stay with you. The challenge is related to “mirror neurons” in our brains that help us have empathy, but also make us vulnerable to stress! When I worked as a hospital chaplain and attended a particularly sad death of a young child, I experienced that stress firsthand in a way I was not expecting having done that kind of work for years already. It is a myth that we are unchanged by the work we do when we care for the suffering of others.
I hope you will come to see me if you are noticing yourself feeling emotionally and physically drained in your work. You might be noticing yourself feeling a sense of hopelessness and inability to be effective, and you may notice a persistent negative attitude and loss of joy. Perhaps you are noticing your own impatience, exhaustion, and expectation that nothing will get better. If your job has an emotional component, all this may become more complicated as your own nervous system is activated by the trauma you encounter with those you care for. I can help you learn ways to develop your personal resilience and gain skills for professional resiliency for your work, and support you using IFS to help relieve the parts of you who might feel so drained and tired.