Date: 1/14/2019, 9:15 am—4:45 pm
County: Alameda County
Sponsor: A Better Way, Inc.
Professionals in child welfare services, due to the relational nature of their work with clients who are specifically referred for services because they are dealing with stress and imbalance, experience a particular relational burden in their work. This burden is particular, involving cases where the specific content of what a client is presenting may be distressing because it is either generally upsetting, distressing, or activating, or because it in some personal way relates to something a provider may have experienced themselves (vicarious trauma). It is also cumulative, because a provider is having repeated interactions with a variety of people who are having a hard time. Because the primary mediator of successful behavioral health outcomes is the quality of the relationship between the client and the provider, the provider’s ability to be present, regulated, and empathetic is of primary importance to the quality of the care provided, and treatment outcomes. This means that the primary tools that providers need in order to be most successful in their work (and to derive the greatest meaning from it), namely presence, empathy, and equilibrium, are things that are likely to be directly challenged by the nature of the relational contact providers are having with clients. Because this combination of particular and cumulative emotional burden is experienced by the provider physiologically as stress, providers require sustainable and on-going restorative practices to give them tools for processing emotional content, maintaining autonomic balance, and restoring wellbeing and resilience. When providers do not have access to these tools, they tend to burn out. Over the course of 15 years of work in this area, Applied Mindfulness has developed a conceptual framework and restorative practices tailored to assisting helping professional increase their well-being and resilience. In this experiential training, we’ll explore these frameworks and tools together.