Healing the caregiver

Jay M Milstein, A. Elise Gerstenberger, Sue Barton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


When treating seriously ill patients, those working in the healing professions may be particularly vulnerable to their own stress symptoms. Left unattended, these professionals may go down the dark road leading to burnout, with impaired effectiveness as caregivers, diseases rooted in stress, as well as increased suicides, drug and alcohol addiction, and exacerbation of personality disorders. Early intervention may help reduce the associated problems. In this paper, we present an elementary debriefing system, a psychotherapeutic approach, to be used by the affected individual. While this methodology may be far more simplistic than those utilized in different schools of healing or caregiving, its appeal is its simplicity and practicality. We are proposing that the individual caregiver systematically consider the following: the Background of the situation; how it Affects thinking and feeling; the Troublesome element(s); how one is Handling element(s); and an Empathetic/empowering conclusion (BATHE). Ideally, these considerations may help alleviate caregivers' anguish in troublesome situations and may complement their awareness of their patients' suffering as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)917-920
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Nursing(all)


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