Tools for shelter staff

Compassion fatigue - how can we identify it and what can we do?
Watch these two short Arabic educative films with English subtitles, if you work with survivors of violence and trauma.

There are several ways you, as a professional, can help yourself and your colleagues prevent compassion fatigue and burnout.

This short film introduces the viewer to the concept of compassion fatigue (here referred to as secondary traumatization) and the importance of knowing it's effects as well as what you, as a professional, can do to take care of yourself.

NB! Both videos are with Arabic speak. For English subtitles, use the menu in the lower right corner. 

Take care of yourself as a professional

When working with survivors of violence and trauma in general, professionals spend a great deal of their time listening to their clients’ stories. The cases that we meet and deal with in our daily work naturally affects us as professionals, as we invest our effort in trying to help them in their process. For some, this investment and feeling of personal responsibility can end up in similar feelings of distress and pain resulting in compassion fatigue or, in worst case scenario, burnout.  

It is important that we as professionals make the effort to look after ourselves and each other as colleagues, and acknowledge that working within this field requires something extraordinary from us as human beings. Compassion fatigue is a common condition and can occur among anyone who help others suffering traumas.

Collegial Debriefing


The risk of experiencing compassion fatigue and burnout is high, when you work in the field of trauma and help survivors of violence. It is vital that you make sure to lend your support to your colleagues and help ensure a shared feeling of responsibility. As professionals, we can only take care of others if we remember to take care of ourselves.

There are several ways you can help yourself and your colleagues prevent compassion fatigue and burnout. This short film introduces the concept of Collegial Debriefing, which is a useful methodology to provide everyday support to each other. Here, the emphasis is on going through difficult situations, where the colleague interviewing in through a positive and open manner, can assist her colleague in focusing on what went well in that particular situation and thereby in processing the experience. The short film explains the structure of a debriefing situation between two colleagues, and goes through the specific narrative techniques needed to conduct a good and constructive collegial debrief.  

Interviewing an abused adult (Greenlandic - Danish subtitles)


Interviewing an abused child (Greenlandic - Danish subtitles)


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