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Lying Down in the Ever-Falling Snow

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Table of Contents

The Question of Compassion Fatigue: An Introduction; What is Compassion?; Differing Understandings of Compassion Fatigue; A New Way of Understanding Compassion Fatigue; The Cold Heart: The Bodily Experience of Compassion Fatigue; The Endless Winter: The Temporal Experience of Compassion Fatigue; Lost & Alone in a Prairie Blizzard: The Experience of Space in Compassion Fatigue; An Icy Wall (Within & Between): Relations & Compassion Fatigue; Bundling Up: Finding Hope in Cold Climes; Survival in Winter Country; Epilogue; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

The authors are Wendy Austin , Canada Research Chair (Relational Ethics), E. Sharon Brintnell , Erika Goble , Leon Kagan , Linda Kreitzer , and Brendan Leier . Scholars and/or clinicians situated primarily at the University of Alberta (Kreitzer, University of Calgary), they form an interdisciplinary group (anthropology, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, philosophy, psychology, and social work) with a deep interest in ethical, compassionate health care and the well-being of those who provide it. Linda Kreitzer is an associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work, Central and Northern Alberta Region, for the University of Calgary. She has an extensive background in researching and teaching social work in Britain, Ghana, Armenia, and Canada, and in a Liberian refugee camp. Her experience with Ghana began while teaching social work at the University of Ghana through the British NGO Voluntary Services Overseas in 1994. Her resulting questions about the relevancy of utilizing a western-style social work curriculum in an African country led to research for her doctoral thesis and subsequently to this book.


"The seven authors form ... an impressive interdisciplinary team.... To the extent that this book brings the reality of compassion fatigue to our collective awareness, there is reason to hope that increased understanding can promote avoidance of compassion fatigue for many as well as the amelioration of the suffering of those who become afflicted.... The discussion of hope does much to enlarge our comprehension of the processes that underlie the 'fatigue' condition. Hope is seen as necessary for compassion, but hope repeatedly denied without adequate conditions for restoration is a damaging experience.... The authors present a thoughtfully detailed discussion of what can be done to lessen and prevent the suffering and loss caused by compassion fatigue.... The depictions of the emotional life of caregivers afford invaluable experience for the reader, perhaps even an enlargement of one's emotional compass. From a more functional view, the accounts can serve as a stimulus for analysis of the process of caregiving itself, which could foster a more sensitive institutional management, both self and organizational.... The authors have collaboratively created a comfortably readable text, effectively smoothing any disjunctions, so that the reader is given an eminently readable, finely woven work."--David S. Hart "Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy "

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