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Homepage > Archive > Numar: 3 > Burnout, Secondary Trauma and Compassion Fatigue in Social Work

 Burnout, Secondary Trauma and Compassion Fatigue in Social Work

  • Maria Diaconescu ([Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Social Work Department, Bd. 21 Decembrie 1989, E-mail:])

Burnout is already a chronic social problem recognized in consumer societies. Secondary trauma among social workers employed to assist the traumatized persons is less known. Therefore social workers who work directly or indirectly with trauma do not access the necessary resources to prevent or overcome secondary traumatic stress. This study aims to work out a systematic review of the recent literature and a conceptual clarification of the terms which are well-known in the field of social work and mental health that describe chronic fatigue among social workers. To this end we analyzed the relevant academic works published between 2006-2015 which were selected by the following criteria: social work, burnout, compassion fatigue, trauma. In the discussions part the study calls for the development of self-care practices and strategies to cope with burnout and secondary trauma among students at social work faculties as a beginning of an advanced training on coping with trauma anda form of professional socializing since university. This study also calls for action research to explore the immediate and lasting effects of the potential advanced training programs on developmentthe necessary skills to cope with burnout and secondary traumatic stress.

Keywords: helping relationship, burnout, compassion fatigue, (CF), secondary traumatic stress (STS)/vicarious traumatization (VT), mental hygiene