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Overcoming Compassion Fatigue: Creative Self-Care Strategies

Catherine Tyink, BSW, MS, NBCT; Christine Kortbein, MA

Course Abstract

Overcoming Compassion Fatigue: Creative Self-Care Strategies is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines how to identify and treat compassion fatigue.

Loss is a recurring theme in our lives, often disguised as change, rejection, or tragedy. A caregiver is often affected directly by loss when overly engaged and immersed in the consistent demands of tending to those in distress. Some of the losses might include sleep, free time, independence, and social connections. These losses may be considered a secondary loss or distress because of a primary loss. The term and concept of compassion fatigue grew from this secondary loss experience (or more aptly, secondary trauma) that we as caregivers or caring professionals can experience as part of our professional or personal lives.

In this course, we will begin with an overview of what compassion fatigue is along with historical context. We will then learn who is the most vulnerable to the effects of compassion fatigue. Common physical and emotional symptoms are presented along with best practice for treatment based on the latest research.

Next, we will review ten evidence-based creative self-care strategies, proven effective in treating compassion fatigue and stress as well as building emotional resilience when faced with change and loss. These strategies will be presented to you through description, application, research, and real-life stories illustrating how each technique may be applied to your own life or to those you work with and support.

Course #31-33 | 2021 | 47 pages | 20 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1.List three symptoms or signs of compassion fatigue
2.Describe two resilience boosting strategies to combat compassion fatigue
3.Explain one self-care strategy that could be suggested to someone struggling with compassion fatigue
4.Summarize the connection between engaging in creative arts and building resilience against compassion fatigue
5.Define compassion satisfaction and how it relates to compassion fatigue
6.Name three ways to incorporate self-care strategies into both your personal and professional life

AOTA Approved Provider

Professional Development Resources is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development. Course provider ID# 3159. This distance learning-independent course is offered at 0.3 CEUs, introductory level, OT service delivery. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Professional Development Resources is also approved by the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Arizona Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners; the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; and is CE Broker compliant (#50-1635) (all courses are reported within two business days of completion). Participant successfully completed the required assessment component for this activity.


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of this course involves passing an online test (80% required, 3 chances to take) and we ask that you also complete a brief course evaluation. Click here to learn more.

Have a question? Contact us. We’re here to help!

About the Author(s)

Catherine Tyink, BSW, MS, NBCT, is a counselor, grief support specialist, National Board-Certified School Counselor, and writer. Catherine serves as a hospice social worker and is the co-author of Grief Reimagined: 50 Creative Strategies to Build Resilience.

Financial: Catherine Tyink receives author compensation from Professional Development Resources.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

Christine Kortbein, MA, has been a curator of mindful arts and an ambassador for connecting creativity with self-discovery for over thirty years. Christine has a BA in Psychology and an MA in Art Therapy and leads workshops and presentations on creative self-care and personal development. She is co-author of Grief Reimagined: 50 Creative Strategies to Build Resilience.

Financial: Christine Kortbein receives author compensation from Professional Development Resources.
: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

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