Breaking the taboo: Eight Swedish Clinical Psychologists’ Experiences of Compassion Fatigue

Malin Norrman Harling, Elisabeth Högman, Elinor Schad

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Purpose: The aim of the study was to investigate the participating psychologists’ experiences with compassion fatigue, and to identify individual, interpersonal, and organizational factors and strategies perceived as contributing or protecting in relation to compassion fatigue. Methods: Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with eight psychologists (three men and five women) with more than five years of experience in clinical practice. The interviews were analyzed with thematic analysis, generating five themes.
Results: These were organizational and task specific factors which the participants felt contributed to their compassion fatigue (“mission impossible” and “emotional strain”), experi- ences of compassion fatigue (“consequences”), interpersonal factors that were perceived as contributing or protecting (“interpersonal factors”), and individual factors that were perceived as protecting (“shielding and strengthening factors”).
Conclusions: It was found that all of the participants had experienced negative impact of compassion fatigue on their personal lives. A large quantity of patients, and complex patient cases, as well as high expectations on the psychologists were experienced as contributing factors. Collegial support, an empathetic boss, a high degree of agency at work, and fulfiling activities outside of work were experienced as protecting against compassion fatigue.
Antal sidor17
TidskriftInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
StatusPublished - 2020 juli 7

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Psykologi


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