Witness to Suffering: Mindfulness and Compassion Fatigue among Traumatic Bereavement Volunteers and Professionals

Kara Thieleman and Joanne Cacciatore. This study used a survey to investigate the relationship between mindfulness and compas- sion fatigue and compassion satisfaction among 41 volunteers and professionals at an agency serving the traumatically bereaved. Compassion fatigue comprises two aspects: secondary traumatic stress and burnout. Because prior research suggests that compassion satisfaction may protect against compassion fatigue, the authors hypothesized that (a) mindfulness would be positively correlated with compassion satisfaction, (b) mindfulness would be inversely correlated with compassion fatigue, and (c) there would be differences between respondents with a personal history of traumatic bereavement and those with no such history.