Extended Practice — Working with empathetic fatigue

By Elizabeth Maynard

Often in doing fieldwork with traumatized subjects, it is common to experience empathetic fatigue. This Exploration is designed to help establish healthy boundaries. It is intended to help ground you in your embodied experience so as not to over-identify with your subjects. When working in situations that demand empathetic response, it’s important to be attentive to your own emotional status. To start, you will connect to the breath, and feel into our physical presence. From here, you are invited to observe the ways in which your work makes demands of your emotional energy. While acknowledging that this is often a given part of fieldwork, you then check back in with your emotional state.


Elizabeth Maynard also contributed two blogs and two other Extended Practices to the Somatics Toolkit:

Blogs: Embodied awareness as pedagogy and practice for academic resilience and The perils of un-physical education

Extended Practice: Finding relief from overwhelm, and Working with challenges, working from inspiration.


Further Reading

Gendlin, E. T. (1978) Focusing. New York: Bantham Books.

Salzberg, S. (2011) Real happiness: a 28-day programme to connect with the power of meditation. New York: Workman Publishing Company.

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