Teaching self-care: The utilization of self-care in social work practicum to prevent compassion fatigue, burnout, and vicarious trauma

Academic Article


  • Field practicum is paramount to social work pedagogy in the preparation of emerging direct practice professionals. Field students integrate foundational knowledge as they implement practice skills learned in the classroom during the social work practicum experience. Working with clients who are suffering is inevitable in direct social work practice and field practicum students can be exposed to a broad range of intense emotional experiences as they assist clients in need. Integrating self-care skills, techniques and strategies into daily social work practice becomes essential to prevent compassion fatigue, burnout, and vicarious trauma. Incorporating self-care skills into the field practicum enhances opportunities for transformative student learning and helps to strengthen professional socialization during this critical educational experience. This article highlights the implementation of professional self-care instruction, use of activities and written student critical reflection assignments designed to enhance the practice experience through incorporating self-care education and strategies among undergraduate students within the field practicum seminar.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lewis ML; King DM
  • Start Page

  • 96
  • End Page

  • 106
  • Volume

  • 29
  • Issue

  • 1