109: Compassion Fatigue, Race and More with Miguel Barker Part 1

Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Miguel Barker-Valdez, one of the founders of Rational Faiths mainly about the concepts of compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. They talk about his experience as a physician assistant in orthopedic surgery, as well as a specific circumstance where he was part of helping with a fatal roadside accident (for those who might find this type of discussion disturbing, Miguel does go into detail as to his efforts to save a young woman’s life). Many jobs lead to opportunities to be part of other people’s suffering, often called vicarious trauma (mental health practitioners, physicians, police officers, fire safety, paramedics, soldiers, teachers, etc.). Even how many callings in the church are ripe for members to experience compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.

Their discussion goes in many rich directions, specifically about issues regarding race and culture (Miguel’s “race awakening”), complicated family dynamics and Miguel’s relationship with the LDS church.

Racism 101 Podcast 

CES Podcast 

Election Night – SNL

Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST runs an online practice, Symmetry Solutions, which focuses on helping families and individuals with faith concerns, sexuality and mental health. She writes at The Mormon Therapist for Patheos: Hosting the Conversation of Faith, runs Mormon Sex Info and is the current president for the Mormon Mental Health Association.

1 comment for “109: Compassion Fatigue, Race and More with Miguel Barker Part 1

  1. Greg
    October 13, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Miguel Im a huge fan I listen to pretty much every podcast that Rational Faiths produces and i raptly listened to each racism 101 episodes as well. The episodes challenged me to look differently at many things and my personal idea of racism. I understand racism better and it’s a horrible thing to see and I’m not perfect but I do my best to avoid it personally, stand up when I notice it from others (even in public), and most importantly teach those I serve to treat everyone with out bias or prejudice.
    To hear your stories really hit home for me. I’m white I was raised white, upper middle class and in the church. I have lived an extremely privileged life. I do what I can to pass that on to each person I interact with, even the loathsome telemarketing person that always calls during dinner. I recently listen to your podcast on Mormon Mentak Health and I was flabbergasted.
    To hear you give a blanket pass to those of your family, even though I’d guess they are related to you n your birth moms side, really just stuck in my maw. It just was a very flippant comment. Now, that said, I don’t know what happens between your birth parents but that does not excuse approval of that behavior. Your mom did nothing other than stand up and and say I’ll love these boys as my own. Now unless, your mom actively seduced your dad knowing he was married, well then they might be deserved. Though, judging by what type of guy you are tells me she’s a wonderful person and doesn’t deserve dirty looks. Your tias, primos, all on your births moms side may resent your father but they shouldn’t SHOULD NOT have shunned your mom. She did nothing.
    This behavior isn’t racism, though it could’ve been, it’s just plain wrong.

    Also, like I said I’m white but I’m pretty dark I get mistaken for Latino or Brazilian by many people white or not. This wouldn’t be an issue but when I either speak with a very heavy American acent of just speak English I get treated differently. Sometime regrettably better and I call people on that but most times it’s that I’m just not right or they suddenly ignore me or contempt because I’m the only white white guy in a hole in a hole in the wall great Mexican restaurant.
    I try not to get down but I’m not accepted by whites because I’m too dark and I’m not accepted by Latinos because I speak English. Now, because I’m disabled and relatively young (mid 30s) and have a cane, it only exasperates the issue.

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