Film Review: "Portraits of Professional Caregivers"

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Meehan, Jennifer C.

Meehan, J.C. (2016). Film review: Portraits of Professional Caregivers. The Advanced Generalist: Social Work Research Journal, 2(1), p 45-48.


The documentary film "Portraits of Professional Caregivers" is comprised of many meaningful narratives of child welfare workers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, social workers, psychologists, hospice staff, nurses, and doctors. Their stories reveal how helping professionals, while assisting clients or patients, may witness traumatic events, or be exposed to aversive details of a traumatic event, and as a result, they may be profoundly affected. Empathy is a characteristic that allows a caregiver to be attuned to their clients and their situations, and this compassion and understanding may increase a professional's risk of developing secondary traumatic stress, burnout, or compassion fatigue. In addition to the documentary's heartfelt narratives, new and inspiring ideas about self-care, coping, safety plans, and supportive organizational structures are outlined, that are designed to promote and sustain the health and well-being of caregivers.

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