Investing and Serving
Symptoms of compassion fatigue can include irritability,fatigue, sadness, decreased focus and cognition, sleep disturbance, anxiety, etc. At this point in this trip, it is not uncommon for the team to feel the effects of long days, lack of sleep, and lots of demanding work. Compassion fatigue is hitting many of the members and we are having to practice what we have been preaching. Thankfully, each night the team debriefs the events of the day, as well as reactions and emotions. This facilitates the health of the team and our ability to work effectively for the rest of our trip.
The GCAT certification trainings at the hotel continue this week with mostly clinicians, starting out with a presentation on adolescent and child trauma. Right away the clinicians engaged with the presenters, participating enthusiastically in small group discussions. At the church, the team was busy with a large group consisting of boys from a residential program ranging from age 10 to 17 years, as well as male and female cadets. The team's hands were full with managing the large group and attempting to connect with them. It took most of the day for the team to feel connected and have the students respond, but we are hoping that they are one of the groups that come back tomorrow. This week, Operation Salvation is coordinating counseling sessions for members of the community on some of the days. Although the number of people who came was few, the team was available to provide encouragement and counsel.
At the prison, we continue to be impressed with the level of insight and openness that developed over the course of the last week. Dr. Erwin has rotated three different groups of officers who were scheduled to come for three separate sessions. The first group finished today and showed incredible appreciation for the information presented- giving the team a thank you card. One of the leaders of the group shared that he felt that the Regent team had invested into them, and he in turn, acknowledges his responsibility to invest and serve in his men. We were all awestruck by his humility and commitment to the men who endure such incredible difficulty each day. We also were told that the officers have been able to take the stress management and communication skills from the presentations and immediately use them in their families and personal relationships with great results!
Amanda N. Trent, Psy.D.