TEND Associate Rebecca Brown on Workplace Compassion Fatigue


Rebecca Brown has a Master’s Degree in Social work and her career has spanned 28 years including medical social work, child welfare and domestic violence. For the majority of her career Rebecca was a Child Protection Team Supervisor at the Children’s Aid Society and was a founding member of the Critical Incident Debriefing Team for CAS staff following traumatic work events. She was a provincial trainer for the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies and taught the curriculum on Wellness and Self Care. Rebecca has recently been appointed as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine, Western University.

Rebecca now has a particular interest in Lifestyle Medicine and incorporates this into her practice of Wellness Coaching. Rebecca has been working with Francoise Mathieu and delivering workshops and seminars on the topics of Vicarious Trauma and Compassion Fatigue to helping professionals in a variety of social settings to balance the impact of the “cost of caring” for those in need.

A short video: The good and bad news about Resilience


I am a huge fan of the Headington Institute, which is a US-based charitable organization whose aim is to provide education, consulting and counselling to humanitarian aid workers and organizations around the globe. Their inspiring and moving vision statement is: “One day, all humanitarian workers will have the personal skills, social support, organizational resources, and public interest needed to maintain their wellbeing and thrive in their work.” Who can argue with that beautiful goal? The Headington Institute provides a wealth of free online training materials. Go check it out by clicking here.

Today, I wanted to share a quick 5 minute video by Clinical Director Dr Don Bosch on “The good and bad news about resilience”.

So, go make yourself a nice cup of tea, and come back to enjoy this important reminder of what it is we need to do to stay afloat.



Trauma Sensitive Yoga for Soldiers and Veterans


I worked as a mental health counsellor for a Canadian military base for about a decade. During this time, I saw many soldiers with PTSD – infantrymen, pilots, intelligence officers and other trades, all of whom had been exposed to unspeakable horrors in war-torn countries such as Rwanda, Afghanistan and Bosnia. Many of them struggled with nightmares, anxiety, intrusive thoughts and reintegration into the civilian world. Some treatment modalities helped, some did not. At some point, a new military psychiatrist came into town, and all of a sudden I started hearing of clients being referred to hot yoga and mindfulness meditation (MBSR) classes. This, in the early 2000s, was very unusual in our neck of the woods. Read More

TED Talks: Brené Brown on Vulnerability and Shame

Brené Brown touches on elements that are very relevant for anyone struggling with compassion fatigue.

In her first 2010 talk, Brené discusses her research findings on vulnerability. Click here to view.

In the second Ted Talk, Brené talks about shame and about the challenge of dealing with the immense success of her first TED talk. Click here to view. There are some gems in this presentation – watch for the section where she speaks of shame and how men cope, and the other where she discusses the difference between shame and guilt. 

Beautiful, moving work based on years of Dr Brown’s research.


For women (and the men who love them): Watch these two fascinating Ted talks

If you have a few minutes, take a look at this captivating scientist practitioner talk about the connection between your endocrine system and the four phases of your body in a monthly cycle. Fascinating.

Alissa Vitti on Tedx FiDi Women

If you still have time and want to watch a wildly entertaining video on the need for women to reconnect with pleasure (yes, that kind, but also other kinds of pleasures), watch Mama Gena’s Ted talk. She’s a vibrant, inspiring whole lot of woman! Imagine if I made my entrance at one of my workshops like she does! 🙂

TEDxFiDiWomen – Regena Thomashauer

Let me know what you thought of those two inspiring videos.

Wishing you a happy, sane enough, full enough, calm enough week.

Compassion Fatigue Training – Video of 1.5 hour presentation

If you would like to view a 1.5 hour talk on CF/VT, here is yours truly at the Ontario Harm Reduction Conference in Ottawa in March 2008.


If you are potentially interested in hiring me to come present to your agency, this will give you an idea of my style although this was not an interactive workshop given that it was really short, and it should also be mentioned that my train was late and I arrived at the conference 8 minutes before starting the talk so I was a little frazzled. The cab driver who picked me up at the train station said to me “Hello! Where are you going?” and I said “Oh, I am SO late, please take me to the Delta, I am supposed to give a talk in 10 minutes” and he turned around in his seat, looked me straight in the eyes and said “I WILL get you there in time, I promise you” and off we went, on the most hair raising taxi ride I’ve ever had in Ottawa (that’s not saying much though, as I used to live in NYC and once had a yellow cab burn all 24 red lights we encountered to get us home). But I digress.

I am going off to Toronto today to attend a workshop (rather than deliver one, which is a nice change). This will be on Trauma Assessment in preparation for the Three day Crisis Intervention training that I offer along with Dr Mike Condra in October here in Kingston: www.crisisinstitute.com