Vanessa provides informative, useful and inspiring presentations on compassion fatigue, mindfulness, companion animal bereavement and stress management. The information contained in these seminars are evidence-based and designed to be engaging.



Vanessa can create tailored workshops on compassion fatigue, mindfulness, companion animal bereavement and stress management. Activities, group discussions, and powerpoint instruction are used in workshops so that attendees can learn through a variety of means and share their experiences with others.



Vanessa is available for private counselling and consultations. These sessions are collaborative and allow Vanessa to take into account the unique factors contributing to your compassion fatigue, grief and stress. With these factors in mind, together, you will be able to develop a personalised strategy for management.


Background: Work and Education

Dr Vanessa Rohlf has a PhD with a specialisation in psychology (human-animal interactions) and a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy. She has blended her knowledge of human psychology and human-animal interactions in a number of previous roles over the last 20 years including veterinary nursing, psychology lecturer at Monash University, and animal welfare researcher at the Animal Welfare Science Centre, University of Melbourne. She is a certified compassion fatigue therapist and educator and has additional qualifications in mindfulness, animal bereavement, and suicide prevention. Vanessa is a member of the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology, research fellow in the School of Psychology & Public Health at La Trobe University and regularly presents her work in peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as international and national conferences.

Vanessa works with a range of animal care industries including animal shelters, veterinary clinics, zoos, and research facilities. She also regularly provides individual counselling and support to companion animal owners and professional animal caregivers from a range of industries.

Contact Vanessa for consultation


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“We had the pleasure of Vanessa attending our organisation to deliver her talk on Compassion Fatigue to our animal handling/nursing staff. It was like a light went on. The staff were so happy to hear someone talk openly and honestly about the things they have been feeling and ways to cope. Vanessa herself was lovely, very approachable and took the time to talk to the staff individually if they wanted to. She has also stayed in touch and has offered further help if required. I have no hesitation in recommending Vanessa to attend your organisation as it was a highly worthwhile and valuable session.”

HR rep, Animal Welfare Organisation

“I recently attended the Compassion Fatigue seminar, presented by Dr Vanessa Rohlf. Dr Vanessa Rohlf is a brilliant presenter and a highly qualified educator, researcher and specialist in psychology of human-animal interactions.

I believe after attending this informative and extremely well presented and organised seminar Compassion Fatigue can affect anyone working and volunteering within animal organisations. I highly recommend this seminar to volunteers and the staff of animal shelters and other facilities that work with animals and also to management of all animal organisations so they can be better informed how best to assist their staff and volunteers. Attending this seminar has made me personally aware of Compassion Fatigue and also to recognise the symptoms in others and to make me more caring and supportive for my fellow animal carers, Thank you so much Vanessa.”

Wendy-Jane Sheppard, Lilydale, Victoria

Vanessa has had the pleasure of working with the following organisations and groups