When kids and teens are on site at the Be Brave Ranch – they are with us 24/7. Our clinical team works with them during individual and group therapy, they do daily mindfulness and yoga practice, art therapy, have meals and snacks and our childcare staff provide recreation activities and of course we have time for fun activities as well.
The work we do day in and day out is very rewarding, but as you can imagine, it is also challenging. Staff hear stories of trauma and abuse and often use themselves therapeutically to support the children and families whom we care for. When helpers are continuously helping others, that can set the stage for a condition called “compassion fatigue” – also known as secondary traumatic stress. Compassion fatigue can negatively impact helpers and cause them to burn out.
That is why in our yearly schedule at the Be Brave Ranch we build in compassion fatigue weeks for our staff because we believe in supporting our staff to be the best they can be. These weeks are scheduled every 5-6 weeks and allow our staff to regroup, refresh and catch their breath. During these weeks our staff receive training, have clinical debriefs, prepare for future cohorts of children, review new research in the field of trauma, and take much needed time for self-care.
Our staff wrap up the compassion fatigue weeks refreshed and ready to welcome back the next groups of children and teens for treatment.