PLEASE NOTE: Enrollment in the Self-Study course has ended. If you enrolled in the course prior to July 2019, you will still have access to the course materials for a FULL YEAR. 
Looking for The Compassion in Balance Program for Animal Shelters? You can find that here. 
You also have the option to take Compassion Fatigue Strategies with me through UFL this fall!

Compassion fatigue is normal, but you don’t have to suffer.

Are you feeling exhausted, stressed, or overwhelmed by your work with animals? Are you wondering if it’s possible to help animals and not be angry or sad all the time? Are you worried you might have compassion fatigue? You’re in the right place.

Almost all of us who work or volunteer with animals experience compassion fatigue at some point in our careers. Even though it’s a normal reaction to the stress of our work, most of us feel alone and don’t know what to do next. If you’re angry, tired, sad, or overwhelmed by the impact your work is having on you, this class can help.

It is possible to feel energized, happy, and confident while you care for those who are in need. But it’s hard to figure out how to do that on your own. That’s why I built this online self-study class. I’ll be your compassion fatigue tour guide.

As soon as you start the course, you’ll feel relieved to know you’re in the right place where the unique challenges of animal care work are understood and respected. Plus, you’ll have access tons of practical tips to help you feel better while you’re making a difference.

Compassion in Balance is all about caring for you, the helper. 

“I’m SO relieved to recognize and better understand what was causing me such distress and know there are solutions and support and I’m not alone. Finding this self-study class and Jessica’s teachings has brought me a new level of peace I’m truly grateful for. Also very much appreciated are the book suggestions, related supportive websites, organizations and tools included in the class.” Chris, Nurse Clinical Documentation specialist and NPO President pet owner support organization

Compassion in Balance is a unique online, self-study class – the first of its kind –  designed specifically with animal care workers like you in mind to help you better understand what compassion fatigue is, how to manage stress, engage in self-care practices, and increase resiliency.

“I have been working in the animal world for 15 years, the last 8 as a vet tech, and more and more I was feeling bogged down and suffocating with no way of getting out from under it. This class helped me in ways I didn’t know I needed or could be helped. It really made me aware of my body and what it was trying to tell me and how to deal with the emotions and feelings in a constructive way.” – Samantha, Head Technician

By the End of Class You’ll:

  • Know what compassion fatigue is and how it impacts your life.
  • Increase your resiliency, so that you can cope with the challenges of the work
  • Know how to care for yourself even when you’re really busy (I won’t tell you to take bubble baths, promise!)
  • Be able to set healthy boundaries and be in control of your life
  • Reconnect to what brings you joy on the job and have your own personal mission statement, so that you can feel good about yourself and the difference you’re making
  • Feel less stressed and more calm by using simple meditation, grounding, and breathing practices.
  • Understand how and when to get professional mental health help
  • Be prepared for real life with your personalized self-care and stress management workbook
  • Collaborate with your staff and coworkers on these issues, so that you can create a healthier work environment for everyone
  • Become a part of our supportive online Facebook community that’s always there for you!


Please see Terms and Conditions before purchasing. 

“Compassion in Balance has helped me tremendously. I was on the verge of quitting mid to end of last year and I feel like I’m finally in a better place now. We’ve had compassion fatigue training before, but none of it really focused on working with animals and it didn’t really make sense. You’ve bridged the gap for me and I truly appreciate it!” – Megan, Volunteer Coordinator, Animal Shelter

Here’s What You’ll Get:

  • The 6 Question Process to reduce and transform compassion fatigue-related stress
  • All Lessons Available Right Now, 100% Online
  • 6 Video Lessons with Transcripts
  • Easy-to-Implement Action Items and Tips
  • Three Recorded Calls with Jessica Dolce (one with Ellen Dolce LCSW)
  • Team Discussion Prompts
  • Certificate of Completion
  • 50+ page Interactive Workbook with Journal Prompts + Recorded Meditations
  • Access to Private FB Group for Ongoing Support

Does that feel overwhelming? If you only do the first lesson, you’ll start to feel better. I swear. That’s what lots of people tell me. And you can come back for the rest whenever you’re ready.

Caitlin testimonial

lauren testimonial cib


The Lessons:

Lesson One: Compassion Fatigue Groundwork
You’ll dive in deep to understand what Compassion Fatigue is and what the symptoms are in individuals and in organizations. You’ll get familiar with your own experiences, what factors contribute to CF, and assess your current levels of CF and burnout.

Lesson Two: Taking Stock of Stressjessica dolce quote This is dedicated to understanding your individual signs of stress and coping methods. You’ll work to create a personalized system to help you monitor and manage your daily stress levels.

Lesson Three: Self Care Strategies
Next you’ll jump in to the importance of self-care and map out a variety of practices that can be used on the job and at home. You’ll begin to lay the framework of your own self-care plan.

Lesson Four: The Rewards of the Work
This module is dedicated to connecting to the rewards of our work and shifting your perspective to a more positive outlook in order to increase your Compassion Satisfaction.

Lesson Five: Resiliency Building
Next you’ll focus on resiliency building techniques, including mindfulness practices, which will help you bounce back from the inevitable stress of your work. You’ll also look at coping with what you can’t control.

Lesson Six: Taking Action
In the final module, you’ll be working on setting SMART goals and crafting a personal mission statement to help keep you motivated as you take your new skills into the future!

How much does it cost? Only $49!

Individual Option

Compassion in Balance is only $49. 

I truly want EVERYONE to be able to access these tools.

Let the learning begin!

Please see Terms and Conditions before hitting purchase!

Team Option

Would you like to enroll your staff or volunteers in the course? This is the most affordable way to bring in-depth compassion fatigue education to multiple team members.

Discounted rates are available:

p.s. there is a quiz + certificate at the end of the course to document engagement.

This class is NOT a substitution for professional mental health care. If you’re suffering from clinical depression, anxiety, or are having suicidal thoughts, please seek professional help.

Here’s what more people are saying:

metis testimonial

jen testimonial

amber testimonial

laura testimonial

melissa testimonial

Who created and teaches the class?

jessica dolce headshotI’m Jessica Dolce, MS CCFE a certified compassion fatigue educator, with certificates in positive psychology coaching, mindfulness, and stress reduction. Plus, I’m a writer, coach, and the creator of DINOS. I’ve spent my entire career caring for companion animals as a dog walker, animal shelter volunteer and employee, and animal welfare advocate.

And I’ve experienced compassion fatigue and burnout firsthand! I built this class because I want to make sure others have access to the tools and information that I wish I’d known about. If you’re working to make the world a better place for animals then you’re my heroes and I want to support you. That’s why this class exists! You can learn more about me here.


Guest Teacher:

ellen dolce headshotEllen Dolce LCSW
 joins us for a (recorded) call about seeking mental health. Ellen has decades of experience working as a licensed clinical social worker and as a life coach as well. She’s also my mom and I think she’s too awesome to keep all to myself!


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Compassion Fatigue?

Compassion fatigue can be described as the physical and emotional exhaustion that arises from the constant demand to be compassionate and effective in helping those in need and who are suffering. It’s the natural consequence of stress resulting from caring for traumatized people and animals. The individual symptoms of compassion fatigue are numerous and varied, but may include: anger, loss of empathy, isolation, and sadness.

What does Compassion In Balance mean?

Through this course, we’ll be working to restore some balance in our lives by learning to give to ourselves with as much enthusiasm and compassion as we give to others. We’re learning to be good to ourselves, while we do good in the world. As John Wilson says, “It’s important to counterbalance the intensity of the work you do.”

Who should take this class? And why?
Anyone working or volunteering with animals is welcome (not you? see the next FAQ below!). Veterinarians and vet techs, dog trainers, animal shelter and rescue workers, animal protection officers, foster families – if you work or volunteer with animals and want to learn more about compassion fatigue, how to make a plan for self care, and put it into practice, then this class is for you.

This is your journey to take. It’s a personal exploration. Throughout the class, you’ll build self-awareness, so that you can take better care of yourself and transform your relationship to your work with animals.

This is work only you can do. It’s reflective, honest, and it can be emotionally challenging at times. But that edge is where change happens.

The focus of CIB is on how you feel, what you can do to make a positive impact for yourself at home and at work, and on learning how to build your internal resources. We’re taking responsibility for ourselves and throwing a self-care party in the process!

Why bother? Because when your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met, it allows you to engage in more ethical, effective, and sustainable work. And did I mention, it’ll help you feel less stressed? That’s pretty great too.

Can I take this class if I don’t work or volunteer with animals, but experience compassion fatigue because of my work in a different helping profession like nursing or social work? 

Yes, you sure can! Here’s the thing: this class is animal-focused, meaning all the examples I use and some of the handouts are specifically referencing working in animal-related professions. If you’re cool with that, join us! All of the compassion fatigue strategies and the workbook are universally helpful, no matter who you work with, so anyone will benefit.

What do I need to take this class?

A computer and the internet. If you’d like to be a part of the (optional) Facebook group, then an account there is needed. Plus, a journal and pen would be cool too.

Do I need to download anything?

No. The class is offered in an online classroom called Ruzuku. All you need to do is sign up for the class and create an account on Ruzuku (it’s free). And yes. There are PDFs to download.

How will the class be delivered?

When you enroll, you’ll get access to all six lessons right away. You’ll get a welcome email that contains links to all the content and you can access that in the Ruzuku classroom.

Can I take this class anonymously? 

Sort of. I’ll know who you are through the registration process (and will keep that information private). This is important because I can’t approve you to join our private Facebook group (which is optional) unless I know your name. Otherwise, no one will know. It’s our secret.

I’m so busy. How much time will the class take?

You have a full year to explore the lessons. You can do it all in 4-8 weeks or take your time and do a little each month. So if life gets in the way, you’ll have plenty of time to return to the class.

Do I have to be in class at certain times?


Do you offer refunds or a guarantee?

No, I do not offer refunds. I offer a fun and challenging learning experience, but I do not guarantee specific results, as participants will come to this course in all different phases of life, types of businesses, and varying levels of self-awareness. You are responsible for integrating and implementing the course materials in whatever way works best for you at this time.

Can I purchase this class for my staff or as a gift for someone else?

Yes! That’s very nice of you to do! Ruzuku explains how to pay for a class as a gift for someone else here. 

When you purchase the class, a form email will automatically be generated welcoming the new student into the class. So when you pay, they’ll know they’ve been enrolled in the class without any delay. Then they can access the class and change their login information.

Organizations enrolling multiple staff members can purchase team registrations in the online store.

After I hit purchase, what happens?

Watch your inbox for a confirmation email with links to get started!

I think I’m experiencing compassion fatigue because I’m the owner and caregiver of a pet with medical or behavioral issues. Is this the right class for me?

No, but I have an awesome online class for that too! Check out Living with DINOS.


If you have any further questions, please contact me: