Kelly Counselor's Conversations

A discussion about life and how school counseling fits into it all

Compassion Fatigue

on December 23, 2013

This the season to give and to love! For those in the school counseling and other service professions, it is a season to not only think of family and friends, but those you serve as well.

I’m going to be really bold and admit that I get really burnt out at work this time of year. In fact, I become quite the ” quiet Scrooge”.

Working at a school that is 90% poverty, we have many families in need particularly this time of year, those who have exhausted all other community resources and still don’t know how they will give their children a Merry Christmas.

My parent liasion and I are responsible for getting the offers of help that come from the community and connecting them with our families that need it the most. It’s a responsibility I do not take lightly. I realize I put too much pressure on myself during the process, but who wants to be the person who drops the ball, goes on Winter Break, and leaves children in need hanging?

As with so many other aspects of my job, it’s truly a head/heart battle. I struggle to keep the Christmas spirit when I drop off gifts off to a family that already has gifts under the tree. To help a family that needs help every single year. To have two hours to find a family because a donor calls at the very last second. I am not immune to cynicism. I fully understand the poverty culture and its
general dynamics and yet still fall victim to frustration.

In my previous post I gave advice to my intern and had said to always keep the students’ needs first, and she’ll ultimately be fine. Truer words have never been spoken, especially in December.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all.



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