Dr Vanessa Rohlf

Compassion fatigue therapist

Dr Vanessa Rohlf is a consultant, counsellor and educator to those who work with and care for animals. She has had a passion for supporting both people and animals from a very young age and first blended these two loves as a veterinary nurse almost 20 years ago.

Vanessa has a PhD with a specialisation in psychology (human-animal interactions), a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology and has since blended her knowledge of human psychology and human-animal interactions in a number of roles including psychology lecturer at Monash University, and researcher at the Animal Welfare Science Centre, University of Melbourne. She is a certified compassion fatigue therapist and educator with additional qualifications in mindfulness and animal bereavement. As a member of the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology and researcher in the School of Psychology & Public Health at La Trobe University, she regularly presents her work in peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as international and national conferences.

Vanessa recognises that, while animal sheltering and rescue work is rewarding, it can also be stressful and this is why she is so passionate about supporting animal care professionals who experience compassion fatigue and burnout resulting from their work.

She currently works people who care for animals from a range of areas including animal shelters, rescue groups, veterinary clinics, and zoos where she provides counselling and workshops on a range of topics including compassion fatigue, resilience, grief and pet loss, and mindfulness. When she is not working, she enjoys relaxing with her Lagotto Velvet who happens to also be her perfectly supportive and reliable work buddy on those days when she works from home.  

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