Training-as-treatment: effectiveness of the Certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist Training

Int J Emerg Ment Health. Summer 2004;6(3):147-55.


Mental health and other service professionals who work with trauma survivors often experience the debilitating effects of compassion fatigue and caregiver stress. Leaders within the field have called for effective, empirically supported interventions for professionals who experience these negative effects. In response to the call, this study examines the treatment effectiveness of the Certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist Training (CCFST) for 83 participating mental health professionals. Results show a statistically and clinically significant decrease in participants' compassion fatigue and burnout symptoms and increase in their compassion satisfaction. A "training-as-treatment" effect of CCFST is introduced, described, and evaluated. Discussion of these findings, clinical implications, limitations, and future directions are provided. CCFST appears to be an effective intervention for ameliorating compassion fatigue symptoms in mental health professionals.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Burnout, Professional*
  • Certification*
  • Empathy*
  • Fatigue / psychology*
  • Fatigue / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology*
  • Occupational Diseases / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Workforce