Ethical Self-Care: Prevention and Recovery from Compassion Fatigue
- Date/Time: Friday, Nov. 18, 2-5 p.m.
- Location: Arcadia University's University Gallery Room, Landman Library
- Cost: $60 Professional ($70 after Oct. 7); Arcadia Student - Free; $15 Non-Arcadia Student (valid student ID needed).
- Registration Form
The empathic engagement needed to help others when they are suffering draws deeply on the emotional and physical resources of professional helpers. Over the last two decades researchers have identified that those who help others put themselves at risk for developing negative symptoms associated with Compassion Fatigue (CF). These symptoms, if left unchecked, can impact the quality of care that is offered to clients. This workshop defines Compassion Fatigue (CF) and its symptoms. The ethical responsibilities to attend to levels of CF and prevent impaired practice are explored. Participants will identify their own levels of CF and create strategies for prevention/recovery.
CF has been shown to cause impairment to services provided by professional mental health care practitioners. Identifying CF and taking steps to recover or to prevent CF and thus to prevent impairment follows ethical mandates from the APA Code of Ethics: 2.06 Personal Problems and Conflicts
- (a) Psychologists refrain from initiating an activity when they know or should know that there is a substantial likelihood that their personal problems will prevent them from performing their work-related activities in a competent manner.
- (b) When psychologists become aware of personal problems that may interfere with their performing work-related duties adequately, they take appropriate measures, such as obtaining professional consultation or assistance, and determine whether they should limit, suspend, or terminate their work-related duties.
- identify relevant ethical issues related to Compassion Fatigue (CF)
- recognize symptoms of CF and Burnout
- define impairment relevant to CF in professional mental health professions
- create practical, individualized strategies to prevent/recover from CF and Burnout.
Psychologists, Counselors, clinical Social Workers, and students in training programs preparing for careers in mental health services will benefit from this workshop as the stresses of providing care that can lead to CF are inevitable for all care providers. Learning to identify symptoms and creating strategies for prevention and recovery are essential skills to build a sustainable career in these professional fields.
Gwen White, Psy.D., Associate Professor at Eastern University serves as Director of the Doctor of Arts in Marriage and Family program will lead this workshop. She formerly served as Chair of the Counseling Psychology Department. She is a licensed psychologist and is founder of Circle Counseling in West Philadelphia that provides low-cost counseling to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. She has served as a US board member of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) an international development and relief organization since 2009 and conducted training workshops in Compassion Fatigue with therapists in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia.
As the director of a training program for psychotherapists for the last decade, the subject of CF particularly in trainees, has been an area of interest for White. In 2009 she had the opportunity to travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia where she met young therapists who had experienced the decade of war in the region and who were treating many clients with PTSD which impacted their own levels of stress and produced high levels of CF. This training is a result of these associations.