Beyond burnout and compassion fatigue

New book aims to help care and service providers reclaim their calling
Learn About Hazelden Betty Ford

Center City, Minnesota (April 19, 2022) – While the COVID-19 pandemic brought awareness of professional burnout to all industries, the issue of mental and emotional fatigue has been a longstanding and persistent one in the human service and caring professions. Who cares for the caregivers? is the oft-repeated refrain, and professionals in the fields of mental health, substance use disorder treatment, social work and medicine have felt the ongoing grind of the now-endemic coronavirus and its related social stresses—on top of the challenges in maintaining balance when being a change agent in others' lives. A new book confronts the crisis of burnout, exhaustion, sacrifice, and separation-of-self-from-service, helping answer the question: What does it mean to serve others while honoring oneself?

Using everyday examples, personal stories, and illuminating questions, author Elizabeth Bishop invites readers to reimagine how they think about, train for, and embody service. Blurring the line between the traditional and the alternative with expertly chosen spiritual and self-help insights, Conscious Service: Ten Ways to Reclaim Your Calling, Move Beyond Burnout, and Make a Difference without Sacrificing Yourself offers pragmatic and inspiring guidance for service providers and the people responsible for the systems and structures through which service is delivered. Even if serving others isn't the core focus of their vocation, readers will discover keys to avoiding compassion fatigue, feeling better, living with purpose, and contributing with impact.

"As individuals providing services to people and communities, our number-one commitment must be to our own health and growth, because it's the highest-evolved versions of ourselves that are capable of the most meaningful contributions and greatest change," said Bishop. "This is a responsibility we have to ourselves."

Bishop harnesses wisdom from more than 40 years in professional human service, embodied in The Conscious Service Approach™, a research-based set of principles designed to enhance both the experience of service providers and the quality of service they offer. She emphasizes that relationships are the fabric of all the helping professions, but it isn't just the people accessing services who benefit from these connections—it's the helping professionals, too. The book provides these individuals with the tools to benefit from the transformational relationships they encounter in the workplace and the means to find the fulfillment that attracted them to vocations of service in the first place.

Hazelden Publishing is part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, the nation's leading nonprofit system of addiction treatment, co-occurring mental health care, recovery resources and related prevention and education services.

"We're not just sharing Bishop's ideas with the world but also with our own teams of caregivers," said Joe Jaksha, vice president and publisher for Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. "Human service and health care providers have been heroes throughout the pandemic, and it's very important we empower them to take care of themselves, too."

Conscious Service: Ten Ways to Reclaim Your Calling, Move beyond Burnout, and Make a Difference without Sacrificing Yourself is published by Hazelden Publishing, and is available now from Hazelden Publishing or anywhere books are sold.


About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.