Life transitions can include graduating from school, moving to a new house or a new town, a decision to enter or exit a long-term relationship, to have children or not, to change a job, re-entering the job market after time away from paid employment, an empty nest, retirement, the death of a loved one, and aging. Difficult transitions that we do not desire or that feel forced on us raise complex emotions, and even transitions that are of our choosing can create discomfort as they shift how we understand ourselves. We can explore the emotions you are feeling in the knowledge I am here to help you as you adapt and reach a new sense of self.
COMPASSION FATIGUE / BURNOUT
I became acutely aware of these issues when volunteering for organizations who provided respite care for families of those with Alzheimer’s and then later in my work as a hospital social worker. Caregivers can often be overlooked in the focus on the one who needs care. They frequently experience what seem to be choices between caring for themselves and the person to whom they are providing care. Even thinking about self-care may evoke guilt in the caregiver. My concern and awareness quickly expanded to include those caring for ill or dying companion animals. Professionals who care for animals—veterinarians, veterinary technicians, dog walkers, dogsitters, shelter workers—and the many other people who may be a part of the support for both the human and pet often also experience grief and compassion fatigue. I am deeply committed to and compassionate toward the caregiver.