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I recently read an interesting article regarding the “Limits of Empathy” by Adam Waytz. We discuss empathy and the need for empathy in regards to developing healthy relationships with people throughout our trainings.

The reason that I found this article particularly interesting was the idea that we all have limits in our ability to be empathetic, and it’s not a concept I’d actively thought about before, but it makes complete sense.

Adam Waytz gave examples of a person who is empathetic with people they work with; empathetic with strangers they encounter on a daily basis; and, empathetic with people they see on news programs.

This person has spent so much empathy throughout their day, by the time this person comes home to their spouse and children they are now experiencing “compassion fatigue” and have nothing left to give to loved ones.

We discuss, especially in Chapter 4, the idea that we as caregivers must take care of ourselves. We need to have an outlet for this secondary trauma. Supervisors need to be tuned in to the needs of the people they supervise so that compassion fatigue does not rob us of valuable employees. Folks need to have a balance between their home- and work-lives. Keep your RADAR turned on so that we might all support one another to avoid burn-out.

Nikki Wince – Mandt Faculty Supervisor

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