Wrapping up The 2012 Compassion Fatigue Conference

Dr Joan Borysenko

Wow – What a party!!! For those of you who were among the participants of the second annual compassion fatigue conference, which was held last week in Kingston, a great big thank you for your amazing positive energy, laughter and willingness to share and connect. I promised to share some resources with participants, particularly Dr Linda Duxbury’s reports, so they are available below.

Dr Linda Duxbury

Dr Joan Borysenko kicked off the conference with an inspiring and moving presentation on burnout and the mind-body connection to wellness. Our breakout speakers continued the journey by offering us both experiential sessions and new data on moral distress and managing conflict in the workplace. Day two saw us spend an hour and a half with the powerhouse that is Dr Linda Duxbury, Canadian expert in work-life balance and role overload. This straight shooter gave us a sobering reality check about our upcoming demographic changes, and a coaching session on learning to use the language of business: “Decision makers don’t do “happy”, they don’t do “sad”, they want language that addresses the bottom line”. Stand up comic and wellness expert Paul Huschilt then had us in stitches with his 7 healthy habits. In fact, one mistake I made was having Paul present in the middle of the day – I think we laughed so hard we were too tired to finish the day!

The Marvelous Paul Huschilt

Paul Huschilt had us at "hello"!

Françoise Mathieu as MC

I am already planning next year’s event which will likely be held a week earlier in June (due to hotel scheduling constraints) so watch this space and your inbox for more news on this in the Fall and block the first week of June so you can be at the party.

As you can imagine, I am in need of a holiday. Preparing a conference of this scale involves hundreds of hours dealing with many nitty-gritty details. From September to June, in addition to my speaking and traveling schedule, the conference is in the back of my mind, demanding my time and attention. Once I get to this time of the year, I am a bit like a squeezed lemon – all used up and in need of a break. Next year, I am hiring more help to deal with the payment/registration aspect, and that’s a promise to myself!

Here is my plan for the summer: I am offering my last talk of the season on June 29th, and then I am not travelling or presenting until September. Whew. In July, I will be spending two hours a day on work (writing blog entries, digging myself from the email backlog, mostly) and the rest of the days hanging out with my twelve year old. This year, we are experimenting with no day camps so he and I have a long list of things we want to do: making homemade pasta and biking in the Thousand Islands being at the top of the list at the moment. Being self-employed is no picnic: in addition to no job security whatsoever and no benefits, you have no start and end to your day – you could work 18 hours a day if you let yourself. But the perks are flexibility and control over your schedule (which Dr Duxbury highlighted as key to job satisfaction). So I get to work hard and play hard and for that I am very grateful. If you have school-aged children and you are not able to take big chunks of time off this summer, how about planning a mini-holiday with your child(ren)? Last year my son and I organised a “staycation” where we acted like tourists in our town -we took the tourist bus around Kingston, visited the local museums and went for bike rides in spots we had never visited before. We also made homemade butter and ice cream. Each activity took about an hour and they were fun and inexpensive. See if you could plan a mini-holiday in your neighbourhood on your day off – is there a neat new playground in your town that you haven’t been to (never enough time)?


Dr Linda Duxbury – Reports

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. Once the new 2011 Work-Life balance study report is available, I will post it on the blog as well and send you an email letting you know (of course, to hear about this, you need to join my mailing list)

1) The Etiology and Reduction of Role Overload in Canada’s Health Care Sector 

2) Voices of canadians: Seeking Work-Life Balance (2003)

3) Work-Life Conflict in Canada in the New Millenium Executive Summary – Report Six

First Canadian Conference on Positive Psychology

The First Canadian Conference on Positive Psychology will be taking place in Toronto on July 20-21st 2012. For more details click here.

Resources for Compassion Fatigue Trainers

During this year’s compassion fatigue conference, I offered a “Train the Trainer” Booster session with new resources for CF trainers. I mentioned two new products that I recently completed:

1) One hour bites – Walking the Walk in 6 one hour workshops: Training guide and webinars. This will be posted on the store soon but it is currently available for purchase by contacting me directly. The cost for this training kit is $500.00 plus HST and includes a training guide, power point presentations for 6 one hour workshops and access to a training webinar series.

2) Videos: Three new videos are now available – a 40 minute introduction to CF/VT/Burnout, a 30 min “Top strategies” video and a 15 min presentation on Low Impact Debriefing and sliming. These videos have been digitized so that you can download them straight from the web (like when you buy a movie on Itunes). I will post video clips for these very shortly. You can use these videos as part of your training sessions (show excerpts, show the whole thing to your participants). This is on my to do list for next week so watch this space for more information on this.

3 Responses to Wrapping up The 2012 Compassion Fatigue Conference

  1. Françoise,

    Many thanks to you and your team for the great time I had at the conference. There was so much interesting and compelling information shared and presented – I am still going through the material and my notes for more nuggets of wisdom! I look forward the next one.

    Un bel et bon été à toi et ta famille.

  2. Françoise says:

    Thank YOU, Ariel! It’s always great to see you. Let us know what mini-vacations you end up doing, maybe we can compile a great list if we all share a few ways we enjoyed our summers – they are so brief. Warmly, Françoise

  3. Ariel O'Neill says:

    Francoise, a big thank you to you and your team for another fantastic event. I was just telling a coworker about attendees coming from as far and wide as the Yukon, Calgary and Halifax…I feel really lucky that I took your training and connected with your work and groundbreaking gatherings.

    Have a great summer and thanks for the ideas for mini-vacations for we office slaves!


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