The Challenge of Caring: On Compassion Fatigue, Resilience and Healing
with Dale G. Larson, PhD

Working with people facing grief, trauma, and life-threatening illness poses critical challenges for the dedicated and highly empathic health professionals who seek to assist them. Extreme levels of distress in patients and families can produce secondary traumatization and burnout in these helpers. Extensive research now documents how these predictable consequences of clinical work with distressed and traumatized individuals can significantly and adversely impact the professional’s personal health and helping efficacy. However, the good news is that much progress has been made in the identification, prevention and treatment of the secondary traumatization and burnout that characterize compassion fatigue.

This session draws upon recent theory and interventions in the areas of compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction and resilience to help participants find ways to remain empathically attuned and emotionally balanced while assisting distressed patients and families to live with hope in a world in which loss and trauma are often inescapable.

 Learning Objectives

After participating in this webinar, attendees will be able to:

  1. List the key features of compassion fatigue
  2. Identify strategies for preventing and managing compassion fatigue
  3. Describe two strategies for coping more effectively with loss during the holidays

About Your Instructor

Dale G. Larson is a Professor of Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University, where he directs the Graduate Health Psychology Program. A clinician and researcher, he is a Fellow in the Divisions of Counseling Psychology and Health Psychology in the American Psychological Association, and has been a Fulbright Scholar and a Kellogg Expert in Residence. His award-winning book, The Helper's Journey: Working with People Facing Grief, Loss, and Life-Threatening Illness, addresses the central concern of this webinar: How can health professionals meet the personal and professional challenges they confront as they work with people facing grief, loss, and trauma?


Larson has been a featured speaker at more than 200 professional conferences on loss- and trauma-related issues in the U.S. and abroad, and has extensive consulting experience with hospice, oncology, and emergency services. His research and publications on stress management for helping professionals, grief and grief counseling, the health consequences of concealing traumatic events, and transdisciplinary team development are widely cited, both in the scientific literature and in the popular media. He was Senior Editor and contributing author for the Robert Wood Johnson-funded national newspaper series, Finding Our Way: Living with Dying in America, which reached 7 million Americans.  

Download Dr. Larson's bibliography of recommended reading related to this topic.


Purchase a recording of this webinar now.