A yoga intervention for counselors with compassion fatigue : a literature review and qualitative case study Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2j62s808w

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  • The purpose of this manuscript style dissertation was to increase understanding of the experiences of counselor's with compassion fatigue as they participated in a yoga intervention. Compassion fatigue is a condition that creates both physical and psychological impairment as a result of working in the helping role. Yoga is an ancient body and mind practice that is thought to reduce various negative physical and psychological effects. In order to address how and why counselors with compassion fatigue were affected by a yoga intervention, research using an exploratory case study method was conducted. Four counselors were first interviewed for 45 minutes; next they participated in four 60 minute yoga classes, kept journals on their experience before and after each class, and finally participated in 60 minute focus groups. Five major themes emerged from the analysis of the qualitative data in response to the research question of how and why yoga impacted counselors with compassion fatigue: participating in both the intervention and the study, experiencing a change in how the counselors internally processed compassion fatigue, experiencing a reduction in compassion fatigue, experiencing a change in the counseling relationship, and experiencing a change in how they practice yoga. Counselor post-intervention scoring on the Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL) suggests lower secondary traumatic stress and burnout, and increased compassion satisfaction. In-depth qualitative interviews with participants further substantiated these findings. Both the literature review and case study provide implications for future research in the areas of compassion fatigue, counselor wellness, yoga interventions, and self-care.
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