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Are empathy and compassion bad for the professional social worker?
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Social Work.
2014 (English)In: Advances in Social Work, ISSN 1527-8565, Vol. 15, no 2, 294-305 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent studies have shown that social workers and other professional helpers who work with traumatized individuals run a risk of developing compassion fatigue or secondary traumatic stress. Some researchers have hypothesized that helpers do this as a result of feeling too much empathy or too much compassion for their clients, thereby implying that empathy and compassion may be bad for the professional social worker. This paper investigates these hypotheses. Based on a review of current research about empathy and compassion it is argued that these states are not the causes of compassion fatigue. Hence, it is argued that empathy and compassion are not bad for the professional social worker in the sense that too much of one or the other will lead to compassion fatigue.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2014. Vol. 15, no 2, 294-305 p.
Keyword [en]
Empathy, compassion, compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Hälsa och välfärd, Om begreppet sympatistress
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-16328OAI: diva2:762874
Om begreppet sympatistress
Available from: 2014-11-13 Created: 2014-11-13 Last updated: 2014-12-15Bibliographically approved

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