Date: 4/18/2016, 1:00 pm—4:00 pm
County: Solano County
Sponsor: A Better Way, Inc.
Training Series Topics and Descriptions
This course series begins with a highly experiential immersion in self-care, while laying out frameworks for understanding stress, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue. It will be focused on the experience of self-care and deep restoration for recovery of resilience at the level of the nervous system. We’ll examine frameworks for beginning to think about the physical, psychological, and spiritual impacts of our work on our wellbeing. We’ll examine the physiology of stress, look at indicators of autonomic nervous system function/ dysfunction, and practice a wide variety of techniques for supporting the relaxation response, working specifically with thoughts, emotions, and sensations in the body. Over time, participants will develop a clear map of their own priorities for self-care and the approaches that best support these priorities. As participants practice and gain familiarity with this awareness-based approach to wellbeing, we will begin to explore utilizing elements of this framework with clients to support their needs. Sessions are highly experiential, and you should feel different and better by the end of each session, gradually developing a toolbox of practices and new habits around resilience to support you generally in your life, as well as in particular moments of stress and challenge.
- Self-Care and Resilience – In this training, we’ll examine frameworks for beginning to think about the physical, psychological, and spiritual impacts of our work on our wellbeing. We’ll look at the continuum of stress, from one-time, to chronic, to toxic, to traumatic stress. We’ll talk about the embodied stress response, and look at the nervous system’s hierarchy of scale, from single cells, to system-wide response. We’ll explore why the stress response just happens, while the relaxation response needs to be cultivated. We’ll become familiar with the relaxation response, and begin to explore techniques for cultivating it.
- Vicarious Trauma – We’ll define vicarious trauma, which arises from caring about people who have been hurt, while feeling committed or responsible to help them. We’ll look at strategies for coping with vicarious trauma, including escape, rest, and play. Then we’ll look at strategies for transforming vicarious trauma, identifying ways to nurture a sense of meaning and hope.
- Applying Mindfulness – We’ll define mindfulness, and explore how applying intentional, present-moment, nonjudgmental awareness can change our moment-to-moment experience of our work (and our lives.) We’ll Specifically geared toward social workers, clinicians, group home staff and others who work with System involved Children Youth and Families, this Six Session Series will support providers in direct service work face a variety of challenges arising from the increasing acuity of the needs of the populations they serve. Since much of what we do in direct service is happening through human relational contact, as clients face increasing levels of stress and trauma, those of us working with them are in turn experiencing increased stress levels. This phenomenon, known as ‘vicarious’ or ‘secondary’ trauma can have profound impacts on providers. Increased and chronic stress has a cascade of negative health repercussions, including the obvious (hyper-tension, difficulty sleeping, lack of enjoyment of work) as well as immune dysregulation, negative emotionality, and effects on memory. Additionally, trauma in clients can activate unresolved emotional issues in providers, or simply become overwhelming. This can result in providers being less willing to, or capable of attending to the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of their clients. For this reason, it is imperative that providers have access to tools for self-care, stress reduction, and for managing/ working with their own trauma and negative emotionality so that they can maintain equilibrium and vitality in the face of the intensity of demands made on them by their clients.
- Working with Emotion and Empathy – We’ll explore the role that unconscious emotion, feeling, and sensation play in shaping our experience, and utilize a variety of tools for bringing these aspects of experience into conscious awareness and equilibrating them. We’ll explore our emotional responses to clients. We’ll explore tools for neutralizing negative emotion, befriending un-felt feelings, and awakening to accumulated emotion. We’ll discover tools for attaining greater emotional balance.