June 12-13, 2012 Compassion Fatigue Conference

Focusing on Organizational Health and Hands-on Wellness Strategies


Full Program now available!

Here is the amazing lineup for the June 12-13, 2012 Compassion Fatigue Conference which will be held in Kingston, Ontario. I am thrilled to be able to bring together such a talented and diverse group of presenters. Take a look below – your biggest challenge will be deciding which workshops to attend! Please don’t delay in signing up, though – last year, this was a sold out event. Click here for registration information.

Day one: June 12, 2012 9:00am-4:30pm

9:00-12:00 Keynote presentation with Dr Joan Borysenko

“Fried: Why we burn out and how to revive”

Following up on Dr Gabor Maté’s presentation last year, we will continue to explore the concept of psychoneuroimmunology with world-reknowned expert Dr Joan Borysenko who will be speaking about her most recent book “Fried: Why we burn out and how to revive.” Joan Borysenko is a Harvard Medical School trained cell biologist, a licensed psychologist, and “educator-at-large.” A pioneer in mind-body medicine and psychoneuroimmunology she is the founder of Mind-Body Health Sciences, LLC in Boulder, Colorado and a New York Times bestselling author of 15 books. Her ability to combine cutting edge information with story, humor, and an authentically gracious presence make her an internationally sought after speaker.


1:15-2:30 Breakout sessions A, B and C. *Please note that sessions A and B are limited to a maximum of 60 participants. Please be prepared to have a second option if you are not able to get into the session of your choice.

Option A: Mindfulness: A Personal and Professional Wellness Practice

With Valerie Spironello, MSW., RSW. Compassion Fatigue Solutions Associate.

Mindfulness has been described as ‘awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non- judgmentally’ (Jon Kabat-Zinn). So often we look outside of ourselves for answers to the complex challenges with which we are faced. Mindfulness practice allows us the opportunity to access and use our own innate wisdom to be with these challenges with greater clarity, curiosity and openness. In this session we will explore the concept of ‘mindfulness’ as it relates to our own personal practice and in our professional practice with clients. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in a mindfulness meditation practice.

The presenter: Valerie Spironello has been a social worker for over 20 years working in a variety of settings including wellness counseling, health care, family therapy, child welfare, family violence. Most recently she has worked in palliative care and with people living with Multiple Sclerosis. Throughout her career, Valerie recognized the importance of addressing challenges holistically. As a result, she trained in mindfulness and the use of visualization which she uses in her work to assist others in improving wellness in body, mind and spirit. Valerie has also completed Compassion Fatigue training with Françoise Mathieu. Valerie is an Assistant Professor (PT) with the Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University, teaching health-care providers, medical students and residents with an emphasis on developing self-care and work-life balance. As well, she runs a Hamilton based private practice called Choose Wellness working to help others to improve their well-being. Valerie also works as an Associate at Compassion Fatigue Solutions.


Option B: Reflections in the Great Circle: Creating your Own Mandala

with Barbara Brown, BFA, MA, HRT

Working with the form of the circle and orienting every gesture from the centre is a poetic way of listening to the essence of our selves. We will be making visible what it means to work from the core of our being. Creating within the ancient form of the circle, participants will experience working from the centre to create a circle or mandala, and in the process see how it can function as a mirror for their wholeness. All the materials for the workshop are supplied. Within the supportive environment of the workshop participants are given the opportunity to create a personal mandala reflecting their own choices. The workshop begins with an introduction to the meditative practice of mandala making. A guided visualization sets the stage, and then participants have time to create their own constructed mandala. Clarity comes as a title is added and we begin to weave a narrative. Surprising patterns and themes show up as the mandala making process reflects back to us the stories of our lives. This fascinating and contemplative practice has deep healing potential.

The presenter: Barbara Brown is a visual artist, Veriditas© certified labyrinth facilitator, and Registered Horticultural Therapist with extensive exprience working in Long Term Care. Brown developed a meditative art practice as a source for her own healing and now offers her methods to support caregivers in their well-being. She facilitates Mandala workshops that are designed to encourage individuals and groups to discover their innate potential to thrive and live a healthy and fulfilling life. A partner in Canadian Labyrinth Ventures, Brown takes a leadership role in establishing the Labyrinth practice at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa, hosting retreats and public guided experiential opportunities for caregivers to consider their own well-being in fast pcaed and demanding work environments.


Option C: Jump Start your Self Care

With Karen Hill, Compassion Fatigue Educator and Therapist, Licensed Holistic Practitioner.

Flight attendants say: “Make sure your own oxygen mask is secure before helping another person.” As most educators and caregivers know, self-care is critical to our long-term success. Without it, we become less effective in our jobs, our lives feel unmanageable, and we burn out. We may end up leaving our chosen profession altogether. But in our already overscheduled lives, how can we possibly make time for self-care? And how, exactly, do we do it? In this session, you will begin the process of creating a customized self-care strategy that you will stick to. You will identify the biggest sources of your stress and your own “early-warning” symptoms, through simple breathing exercises, body scans, reflective journal writing, and supportive group discussions. You will leave the session with one or two simple self-care practices that work best for you, and specific strategies for integrating them into your daily routine, allowing you to avoid burnout and more effectively help others.

The presenter: Karen Hill is a certified Compassion Fatigue Educator and Therapist with expertise in workplace wellness, complementary health therapies, stress management, and health promotion. Karen has dedicated her career to helping others live consciously through mindful self-awarenes. She is a certified Adult Educator, a Licensed Holistic practitioner and holds a post-graduate certificate in Workplace Wellness and Health Promotion. She is the director of Compassion Fatigue Toronto which offers workshops that help caregivers and educators reclaim their vitality and passion.


3:00-4:30 Breakout Sessions *Please note that sessions A and B are limited to a maximum of 60 participants. Please be prepared to have a second option if you are not able to get into the session of your choice.

Option A: Moral Distress and Compassion Fatigue: Is there a Connection?

With Leslie McLean, RN, MScN, Advanced Practice Nurse

Moral distress occurs when one knows the right thing to do but constraints, either personal or other circumstances beyond one’s control, make it nearly impossible to pursue the right course of action, and the distress caused results in a variety of emotional and behavioural responses.

Moral distress has been conceptualized as a form of occupational stress and is a phenomenon of increasing concern in the health care field. What is not clear is the relationship between moral distress and compassion fatigue. Some suggest compassion fatigue is a form of moral stress while others see them as distinct and unrelated concepts. What is clear; however, is that both can have a profound effect on the health and well-being of care providers and subsequently on those whom they are serving. This combined didactic and interactive session will explore the concept of moral distress in relation to compassion fatigue. Through the sharing of current literature on the subject and by engaging in reflective exercises, participants will gain an enhanced understanding of these concepts and the practical strategies that can be employed to address them.

The presenter: Leslie McLean is an Advanced Practice Nurse and Project Manager with the Capital Health Cancer Care Program in Halifax Nova Scotia, Chair of the Capital Health District’s Clinical Ethics Consultation Service, and an Adjunct Professor with the Dalhousie University School of Nursing. Leslie obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mount Allison University, Chemistry from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from McMaster University, and a Masters of Nursing degree from Dalhousie University. She has held a variety of clinical, teaching, research and administrative positions within tertiary and primary health care settings both within Canada and abroad and has served as chairperson on a variety of local and national professional and volunteer boards. Leslie’s research interests are in the areas of service delivery models, collaborative practice, and clinical and organizational ethics. Throughout her career, Leslie has been passionate about helping to create healthy work environments which led to her strong interest in addressing compassion fatigue within her organization. In 2010 she was recognized by Accreditation Canada with a Leading Practice Award for her work in this area.


Option B: Towards Resiliency: A Road Map to Wellness

with Diana Tikasz, MSW, RSW, Compassion Fatigue Solutions Associate.

As helpers we often are so busy doing the work that we do not take the time to fully reflect and thoroughly plan our own self-care, even though we know it is essential for our well being and career satisfaction. This workshop will give helpers the opportunity to utilize a newly developed tool designed to help participants personalize their own path to resiliency. Through a series of self-reflection activities and small group discussion, participants will begin with exploring and planning how to address the foundational blocks of wellness. Participants will then work to discover aspects unique to them that require focus for optimal career and personal health. This workshop is meant for those who already have some sense of how compassion fatigue/vicarious trauma impacts them and now wish to develop a concrete plan that is detailed enough to help them stay on course while also being flexible enough to change and grow as they do.

The Presenter: Diana has been committed to trauma-focused work in the health care sector for the past 23 years. She has coordinated hospital based sexual assault/domestic violence treatment programs, which involved counselling those who have been traumatized by violence, teaching other professionals how to do this work effectively while staying healthy themselves. Diana has also worked in the area of Employee Assistance Program counselling where she has specialized in working with individuals who are feeling stressed by their personal and/or work life. Her passion is to assist people in creating personal changes that promote health. Participation on numerous community and provincial committees, research projects and educational endeavors round out her professional interests. Diana is an Associate at Compassion Fatigue Solutions.


Option C: Understanding Conflict within the Complex Stress Model for Trauma-Informed Workplaces

With Dr Patricia Fisher, R.Psych., L.Psych. and Meaghan Welfare, BA., Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator, Compassion Fatigue Solutions Associate.

This workshop provides participants with the opportunity to explore the uniqueness of working in a helping profession and the stressors associated with trauma-informed work and interpersonal workplace stressors such as conflict, bullying, etc. The presenters will offer insight into the connection between compassion fatigue and the interpersonal culture of workplaces through interactive discussions and exercises.

The Presenters: Dr. Patricia Fisher is a clinical psychologist and the president and founder of Fisher & Associates Solutions. As a long time trauma specialist, over the past 20 years she has focused her attention on the impact and mechanisms of workplace stress in trauma-informed workplaces. She has been active as a clinician, researcher, and consultant, with applications in program design, curriculum development, organizational planning, and policy development. She has authored 6 texts and numbers of research papers on the subject of trauma-informed occupations, and is a frequent presenter at international conferences and professional meetings. Dr. Fisher’s work has focused on the needs of organizations and personnel in high risk areas such as health care, human and social services, law enforcement, corrections, emergency services, and the military. Her assessment protocols, training programs, and consultation services are all firmly grounded in contemporary research and best practices. Dr. Fisher is one of the leaders in Organizational Health and Workplace Wellness in trauma-informed environments in Canada, and has provided assessment and consultation to many organizations from the high stress and trauma sectors across Canada and internationally. Since 2000, she and her associates have given many hundreds of training workshops to staff and managers in high stress and trauma sectors in Canada and abroad.

Meaghan Welfare is a conflict management practitioner with the Department of National Defence at CFB Kingston. She is also a Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator with the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology. She holds a degree in criminology and criminal justice with a minor in law, a graduate certificate in dispute resolution from York University and a certificate in family mediation from University of Waterloo. Meaghan has many years of experience working in the field of conflict management in the workplace, community, family and criminal justice system. Meaghan has experience working in the many government departments including the National Parole Board, Veterans Affairs, Department of National Defence, Corrections Canada, and Canada Post. Meaghan has also worked with non-profit organizations and public companies. Meaghan develops and delivers training in the field of conflict management, communication, workplace bullying, decision-making for board of directors and compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma, among other topics. She is currently a member of the Advisory Committee for ResolveKingston, a non-profit Program provided by K3C Community Counselling Centres, which provides mediation and victim offender reconciliation services to the Kingston and region community. Meaghan is also a Compassion Fatigue Solutions Associate.


Day Two: June 13, 2012 9:00am-4:30pm

9:00-10:30 Keynote Presentation with Dr Linda Duxbury

“Work-Life Balance: Rhetoric versus Reality”

Known as Canada’s foremost expert researcher on work-life balance, Linda Duxbury is a Professor at the School of Business, Carleton University. She holds a Ph.D. in Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo. Dr Duxbury is a noted pioneer in the field of organizational health. Over the years her interest in issues associated with managing a changing workforce has earned her a variety of awards that recognize her research, teaching and her contribution to public and private sector work places. Dr Duxbury has been the lead investigator in several major studies on work-life balance in Canadians, role overload in health care and stress, and on the impact of telework and supportive management.

Work-life balance and stress have increased over the past 10 years while organizational outcomes such as job satisfaction and organization commitment have decreased and outcomes such as absence, intent to turnover and job stress have increased.This talk draws on Linda Duxbury’s extensive research in the area of work-life balance, supportive managers, supportive work environments and managing change. Dr Duxbury will discuss why organizations needs to make it easier for employees to balance work and life and will offer recommendations on how companies can increase balance. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of how cultural change can be achieved.

11:00-12:00 Panel Presentation: Our Journey through Compassion Fatigue and Back

1:15-2:00 Keynote presentation: Paul Huschilt: “The Seven Humor Habits for Workplace Wellness”

Paul Huschilt is an award winning professional speaker & storyteller who is known for his totally unique musical comedy conference-closing keynotes. He also specializes in humor in the workplace, workplace wellness, and work beyond stress. Paul has worked in The United States, Canada, The Netherlands, France and most recently in Japan. Paul has a Master of Arts Management Degree from Carnegie Mellon University, a BFA (Acting) from the University of Windsor, a diploma in Career Counselling and a certificate in Adult Education. Paul has produced the entertaining and inspiring DVD versions of his popular keynotes entitled 7 Humour Habits for Workplace Wellness and The Fool Climbs it Twice. Both provide life lessons that help you to be your best and do your best at work and at play. Paul Huschilt is a contributing author of the best-selling book Awakening the Workplace.

2:30-4:00 Breakout Sessions *Please note that sessions A and B are limited to a maximum of 60 participants. Please be prepared to have a second option if you are not able to get into the session of your choice.

Option A: Train the Trainer Booster

with Françoise Mathieu, M.Ed., CCC. Director, Compassion Fatigue Solutions Inc.

If you are a Compassion Fatigue Educator who has completed Françoise’s Compassion Fatigue Train the Trainer course in the past, this is an opportunity to reconnect, hear what’s new in the field of compassion fatigue training, new marketing tools, what’s worked and what hasn’t, and network with other trainers.

The presenter: Françoise is a mental health counsellor and Compassion Fatigue Specialist. She is considered to be one of the leading Compassion Fatigue Educators in Canada. Françoise is the director of Compassion Fatigue Solutions inc., and the creator and coordinator of the Compassion Fatigue Conference. Françoise has trained over 300 Compassion Fatigue Educators so far.


Option B: Inner Hero Collage Workshop

with Supria Karmakar, BSW/BA, Artist & Facilitator

Using paper collage, symbols and colour elements, individuals will create a celebratory Inner Hero of themselves. This process will give participants an opportunity to engage in self-reflection, creative play and a recommitment to self-balance at work and at home. Participants leave with a visual reminder of their accomplishments and a vision for their future commitments to themselves. This is an excellent activity for rejuvenation, balance, and a reawakening of our playful selves. No artistic experience is necessary to participate, a spirit of exploration is encouraged. Please bring a personal photo to add to your collage. This can be of yourself, or something symbolic and important to you. Creativity and art as a modality can assist with the opportunity to learn more about self, program needs, team vision, creating an opportunity for self-awareness, reflection, change and balance.

The presenter: Supria has been a social worker and community developer for 16 years. She has facilitated numerous community program meetings, events, conferences and workshops within the social service and health sectors. She values the energy that comes from group processes and believes that we are enriched while immersed in creative processes both in group and individual settings. Pulling together her passion for the arts and creativity with facilitation and social work processes, Supria creates an environment for great transformation and awareness. Through art, creativity and play, Supria provides a program that encourages her clients to discover more about how to enhance personal, and team wellness.


Option C: Come Out of Hiding! Move Past Your Fears and Connect With Your True Self

with Robin Cameron, M.Ed., CCC. Compassion Fatigue Specialist.

Of all of the obstacles that keep us from our essential selves and ultimately our potential, none is more powerful than our own inner dialogue. How long has your dream been living on promises? “I’ll start exercising when the summer comes; I’ll write my book when the kids go to college; I’ll find a partner when I lose the weight; I’ll change jobs once I’ve saved enough money…” None of these reasons are bad in and of themselves, it is only when they become an excuse to continually let yourself down that your self-esteem begins to suffer. Your confidence is based on your reputation to yourself: Do you keep the promises you make to yourself or are you constantly coming up with reasons to put your dreams and needs on the back burner again? Come as you are to this inspiring workshop: whether you are an ostrich (head totally buried in the sand), a turtle (moving slowly but prone to hiding in your shell), or a full-on divalicious master of your own life, and take whatever size of step is right for you. You will not be singled out or forced to share anything private, but you will be encouraged to be truly accountable to your essential self and make a commitment to making your life better…today.

The Presenter: Robin has been helping people bring out their best since 1986 when she co-facilitated her first workshop (with her mom!). She co-created a popular workshop series for helping professionals with Françoise Mathieu which included Walking the Walk, Take Stock Dream Big and Taming the Dragon. Robin works in private practice with people who want to make the world a better place but spend their days trying to figure out how to survive in a toxic work environment; those who want to deal with the occupational hazards of their work such as burnout and compassion fatigue.

Trained as both a counsellor and a coach, Robin is a stress enthusiast who bites her nails and makes only half-hearted attempts to shrink her muffin top. She’s a helping professional like you who wants to live an inspired life, help others do the same and thinks we could all have just a little bit more fun. For more information see www.lifeinspired.ca

4:00-4:30 Closing activities

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