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Mindfulness Meditation for Clinicians to Prevent Compassion Fatigue

Friday, February 28, 2014: 10:50 AM-12:20 PM
Palm (TradeWinds )

Background: This workshop will provide the opportunity for clinicians to experience mindfulness meditations and practices which reduce stress and increase compassion for self and others. The theory of mindfulness will be presented and research on the benefits for clinicians and their clients will be discussed. Most appropriate for advanced clinicians.

This workshop will begin by allowing participants to experience some mindfulness practices, including guided meditations. Following this, we will discuss the concept of compassion fatigue and how it manifests.  The theory of mindfulness will be explained and how it can help prevent burn-out in clinicians who work with difficult clients. We will also discuss how becoming a mindful therapist can affect clients in a positive and therapeutic way.

Seven mindfulness practices will be presented and discussed, as well as protective practices from the research literature. These practices include the following concepts: Everything is impermanent, attachment causes suffering, present moment, self-compassion, pain vs. suffering, and how identifying with the client's suffering increases our compassion.

Next we will explore how each individual experiences compassion fatigue or burn-out currently in their work. We will spend time in small groups discussing our triggers and how we might change our work environment and/or our view of it in order to decrease our stress. This will be followed by a brain-storming session designed to facilitate new ideas about how to use a mindfulness approach in clinical work and outside to enhance meaning and positive living. Each participant will design a mindfulness plan for her/his work environment with the help of members of their small group.

We will discuss the concept of self-compassion and how this relates to our work as therapists. Ways to build more self-compassion will be explored and obstacles to this practice will be examined. Next, we will have a guided meditation on self-compassion.

We will close the workshop with a discussion of resources, questions/answers,  and a 20 minute mindfulness meditation.

This workshop is designed for clinicians who are interested in utilizing mindfulness meditation to enhance their lives and clinical practice.  Participants will experience mindfulness meditations, first hand, and learn how the use of these meditations can help to prevent burn-out. In addition to meditations, participants will explore how bringing a mindful approach to therapy can benefit their clients. We will explore the concept of self-compassion and how important this is for self-care in our field. As we learn to develop more self-compassion, we can extend this stance to even our most difficult clients with eating disorders.

Primary Presenter:
Elise Curry, PSYD

I am currently working as a clinical psychologist at the counseling center at UC San Diego. I lead the 8 week group called "Mindfulness-Based Cognitive therapy for Depression." I was trained by Zindel Segal at a 5 day intensive training in 2009. I have had my own Buddhist meditation practice for the past 13 years and have been working with eating disorder patients since 1990. Publication: Management of bulimia nervosa Mary Ellen Trunko, Roxanne E Rockwell, Elise Curry, Cristin Runfola, Walter H Kaye Women's Health, March 2007, Vol. 3, No. 2, Pages 255-265

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