No therapist can do a decent job unless they lift and clear their own emotional baggage. I know about compassion fatigue. Doing the job that is ours to do, focusing intently on the stories and needs of traumatized clients there is inherent danger of losing our own emotional and spiritual center. If you're not careful, you bleed out energetically, go limp and strain psychological coping mechanisms. That can't happen. If ever there was the chance for compassion fatigue, I will find it here in Post Katrina New Orleans.
August 28, 2005. It was the last day of a week-long vacation with my family on Cape Cod. My daughter and her husband had leased a summer cottage, with accommodations to sleep ten. And the best part, a beat-up pine table, long enough for a late night, full-on family and friends game of Mexican Train, until only one was left standing.