course »Self-Care Retreat for Foster Care & Mental Health Practitioners: Increasing the Effectiveness of Our Self-Care

, 9:00 am—4:00 pm
County: Alameda County
Location: Oakland
Sponsor: A Better Way, Inc.
Phone: 510-601-0203
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 or ‘empathic fatigue’ 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.

This daylong training will take us deeply into the exploration of the relaxation response, to help us cultivate resilience at the level of the nervous system. We will engage in a variety of movement and mindfulness practices to support integration and well-being, and learn how to tailor these awareness practices to the present moment state of our nervous system, increasing their integrative potency and efficacy in supporting our internal equilibrium. We’ll also explore core beliefs around self-care, and develop a concrete self-care plan.

  • Examine our own core beliefs about self-care
  • Understand that the practice of self-care is the practice of changing habits
  • Understand the neurological basis of behavior change in neuro-plasticity
  • Understand the importance of cultivating the relaxation response
  • Learn about the physiology of the relaxation response, and why it needs to be practiced
  • Cultivate the relaxation response, increasing equilibrium and positive emotionality
  • Develop a personal self-care schedule based on our unique preferences