Balancing Professional and Personal Lives through Self-Care

Module Sections:

Forming a Unified Framework

Model of Self-Care Behavior

The Model of Self-Care Behavior (Eckstein, 2001) and Compassion Stress and Fatigue Model (Figley, 1997 in Figley, 2002) provide a general explanation of stress, the role of supportive relationships in self-care as well as limiting compassion stress and effectively managing case loads by compassion fatigue. The model of self-care provides preventative techniques for your overall well being whilst the Compassion and Fatigue Model provides techniques for mitigating fatigue to enhance your wellbeing as a therapist. The value of having both models complement each other is important to enhance a healthy health care behavior as well as prevent /reduce the adverse effects of compassion fatigue. Thus, creating a balance for both your professional and personal wellbeing.

The Model of Self Care Behavior (Eckstein, 2001)

The Model of Self-Care was developed as part of "the F.A.M.I.L.Y. Approach to self-care"; a model developed to create:

  • A healthy balance
  • Identify basic human needs
  • Problem solving skills to meet those needs while balancing current strengths and weaknesses with self care behaviors.

Although the model focuses on health factors with one's self-care, it is an applicable and invaluable resource for home therapists' self care practices.

Unrealistic expectations can increase your stress which in turn plays a major role in undermining your profession. Utilizing the model of self care will help you make meaning of supportive relationships, and social support in identifying sources of stress and resistance to self care.

The focus of the model is on the need for integration and balance in five different aspects of self. These include, physical, mental, spiritual, emotional and social. By recording behaviors in each of the dimensions, you can create a healthy balance with your health care behavior and will be informed on what supports the different parts of yourself working together with a sense of joy and harmony. Note that some of the behaviors may be repeated in different dimensions.

Figure 1: Model of Self Care Behavior (Eckstein, 2001)