Psychotherapist Says Frontline Workers Can Get Fatigue
There are many forms of trauma and those social workers, police officers and teachers who are in the fields endure what is known as compassion fatigue. In turn, they subconsciously release their frustration on their loved ones. Doctor Depaz speaks about how this trauma and crisis can be addressed.
Dr. Alex Depaz, Psychotherapist
“In order for them to be able to handle this, they need to be present, focused and grounded before they go into any therapeutic alliance with anyone. If they are not present; they do not have their emotions in check, they will not be able to do a good job and they will in turn be doing more harm than good.”
“How do they take back control of their inner self?”
Dr. Alex Depaz
“Well it starts with them and that is exactly what this training is about. It is about being present. It is about being aware of your body language. Why am twitching the minute I am talking to a child who is telling me he was raped? Why am I clenching up? Why am I having these emotions? Okay. It is triggering something in me; perhaps in my childhood I was abused and now it is called counter transference and now I am feeling that. I am having somatic symptoms; body symptoms; my knee hurt, my head hurt, my body hurts; all of these things are happening to me and I just want to run away. So, it is really important for me – self neglect; the social workers in Belize need support. As a community, and I am not just talking about social workers; I am talking about teachers, doctors who see deaths every day; police officers; law enforcement; the army or BDF as they are called out here; we need the support and we need to come together as a community to make a change.”