Paul C. Edwards

I also like the focus on self-care, in the articles, as many of you have pointed out.

One thing that stood out for me is the interconnection of all the terms used; burn-out, compassion-fatigue, vicarious trauma. I began thinking, as I read, that in some ways, I can identify with subsets of each of those.

I recalled years ago when my first CPE Supervisor took some time away from hospital work. (Of all things, he took on a parish as a full-time pastor for a few years). At first, I thought it strange. He explained at the time, that he need a break; he was becoming burned out. After some years in parish ministry, he went back into CPE Supervision and did that until he retired. Parish ministry gave him the respite, as well as the rejuvenation he needed.

I guess what I’m saying was he took note of what was going on within him and that was his way of practicing self-care. It seemed to work out well for him. For me, the lesson was to pay attention and not feel guilt when we have to make decisions, etc. that might be in the best interest of our health and well-being. I’ve gotten to the stage in my life that I firmly believe pastoral care can be done anywhere. It does not have to be in an acute care setting/hospital. It can be as informal as a word of encouragement to the salesperson at the car dealership as I’m having a vehicle serviced or purchasing one.