A state of tension and preoccupation with the traumatized patients by re-experiencing the traumatic events, avoidance/numbing of reminders persistent arousal (e.g., anxiety) associated with the patient. It is a function of bearing witness to the suffering of others.
Figley, C. R. (2002). Compassion fatigue: Psychotherapists' chronic lack of self care. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58(11), 1433-1441. doi: : 10.1002/jclp.10090