Books for your toolbox: Some great reads to navigate Compassion Fatigue

I have been doing a lot of training this Fall, offering the introductory course on compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma, the Part Two compassion fatigue workshop (a brand new presentation), a series of workshops on mental health, crisis intervention and the compassion fatigue train the trainer. I love doing these presentations as they are always different:  each group has different needs and reactions, and each group has resources that are best suited to them.

I will soon be winding down for the season and taking the month of December off to retool and…read lots of books! I grew up in a book-loving family and the best part of Christmas was always settling down with our new book haul and settling in for hours of pleasure and escapism. We used to go to this wonderful second hand bookstore in Montreal called the Book Nook (sadly, long gone) and do most of our gift shopping there.

In the spirit of the holidays,  here are the books/CDs I would recommend you put on your wish list:

Compassion Fatigue/Vicarious Trauma/Helper Self Care

VanDernoot Lipsky, L. (2009) Trauma Stewardship, BK Publishers.

Mathieu, F. (2008) The Compassion Fatigue Workbook, Kingston: WHP. Available at

Rothschild, B. (2006) Help for the Helper: the psychophysiology of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma: New York: WW Norton.



Wherever you go, There you are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness Meditation CDs by Jon Kabat-Zinn:



Organizing from the inside out: The foolproof system for organizing your home, your office, and your life by Julie Morgenstern (1998)

Time management from the inside out by Julie Morgenstern (1998)





More time Moms Family Meals: Easy meal plans to help you keep your children healthy

Healthy Eating

Eating well, Living Well: An everyday guide for optimum health by Richard Béliveau

Foods that fight Cancer: Preventing Cancer through Diet by Richard Béliveau

Life/Work Balance

Take Time for Your Life: a 7 Step Program for Creating the Life you Want by Cheryl Richardson (1999)

Succeeding as a Superbusy Parent by Natalie Gahrmann (2003)


Briefcase Moms: 10 proven practices to balance working mothers’ lives by Lisa Martin (2004).

Money/Working Part time

Your money or your life: Transforming your relationship with money and achieving financial independence by Joe Dominguez & Vicki Robin (1999)

Nice girls don’t get rich: 75 Avoidable Mistakes Women Make with Money by Lois Frankel (2005)

The smart cookies’ guide to making more dough: How five young women got smart, formed a money club, and took control of their finances. (2009).


Debt-Free Forever by Gail Vaz Oxlade (2009)




Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman (1999)

The Sex-Starved Marriage by Michele Weiner Davis (2003)

Self Care/Stress Reduction



Do One Thing Different: 10 simple ways to change your life by Bill O’Hanlon


Little book of stress relief by David Posen





50 best ways to simplify your life by Patrick Fanning (2001)

Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter by Elaine St James

The Power of Less by Leo Babauta (2009) (I suggest you also check out Leo’s website ZenHabits)

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