University of Twente Student Theses


Crisis line volunteers: well-being, compassion fatigue and why they quit

Hesse, D.M. (2018) Crisis line volunteers: well-being, compassion fatigue and why they quit.

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Abstract:Volunteers are a valuable resource for any organization that relies on them. Keeping them happy and engaged and making their life easier should therefore be a big priority, especially when they are at risk of stopping. This study focuses on stopped volunteers of the organization Sensoor, their emotional experiences, and the reasons that lead to this decision to drop out. Eight participants took part in an in-depth interview to explain which factors might have played a role in this. It was assessed which positive and negative experiences the participants encounter and further, which factors of (1) the help request, (2) the caller, (3) the organization and (4) the volunteer are making their work more difficult. Also, the factors of the volunteer and the organization that either hindered or reinforced healthy coping behavior were examined, to find a connection to the decision to quit. The results show that the main reasons to quit were that participants experience a lot of negativity that seems to pile up over time in combination with the time-consuming factor of the work. The work has a very positive side where it was seen as enriching and joyful but was also seen as negative when the volunteers were confronted with sadness and irritation. The negative emotions and a lack of self-care hint at compassion fatigue and put the volunteers of Sensoor at risk of developing it. The most troublesome factors that make conversations difficult were identified as psychological problems on side of the caller, negativity and no connection between client and volunteer, but also no contact to other volunteers and self-criticism. These factors were also found to have a connection to the emergence of negative feelings in the volunteer and unhealthy coping behavior. Further, the volunteers seem to cope well with unpleasant incidents, but fail to compensate for an overall negative experience. Sensoor is advised to put more emphasis on the positive factors of the work, which can help with the constant negativity and satisfies the need for positivity in the participants life.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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