As professionals who provide education and care in many forms to students and/or clients with high ACE scores, it is helpful to be reminded of Viktor Frankl's poignant statement, "What is to give light must endure burning..." (See this interesting article from British Columbia on compassion fatigue which cites Frankl.)
Quality care and education, as we know, require empathy which means exposing ourselves to the trauma and suffering of those whom we are seeking to assist. For trauma-focused treatment and education to be effective for the long haul, professionals will need to maintain active personal self-care--but equally important is the less frequently discussed necessity for schools and service organizations to create effective structures of care for staff. These mechanisms may be in the form of peer support programs or reflective supervision.
In the documentary film, Portraits of Professional CAREgivers: Their Passion. Their Pain", we illustrate several such peer structures, e.g. a debriefing session in a Sanctuary model certified organization (Wordsworth), a Stress First Aid program within the Philadelphia Fire Department, supportive weekly team rounds at Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice (Marlton, NJ), and a special retreat for clinicians called: "When Helping Hurts: A Day of Healing for the Helping Professional" (by Lara Krawchuk). A number of training models that address secondary trauma and promote resiliency are available to assist practitioners, teachers, and other professionals .
For further questions, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 267-266-0842 -- Vic Compher, MSS, LCSW