New Course this fall – WTF: Essential Grounding and Debriefing Tools for Front Line Workers

Become more centered among the chaos

In the course of their work, many helping professionals are regularly exposed to difficult and sometimes traumatic material: anyone working in the criminal justice system, victim services, front line workers, those who work with forensic evidence and child exploitation, first responders, mental health crisis teams, homeless shelter staff and many others.

When there is a lot of exposure the risk for secondary trauma and compassion fatigue are high. How do we remain healthy and balanced while doing this challenging work? We need tools in our toolbox, skills that we can use before, during and after the difficult event has taken place. New research on grounding techniques and trauma reduction skills are showing promising results in helping to reduce secondary traumatic stress in trauma-exposed professionals.

This fall, we are delighted to begin bringing to you a brand new workshop designed by our very own Diana Tikasz, MSW, RSW. Diana has worked for many years in high stress, high trauma-exposed work settings and brings to this training her vast experience as a front line worker and supervisor, as well as the newest findings on the neuroscience of trauma exposure management.

WTF isn’t a swear word! It refers to the Window of Tolerance Framework. The WTF is our optimal zone – the place where we do our best work, when we are feeling calm yet energized, healthy and creative. Stressors and triggers can bring us out of that zone into high stress and reactivity, or into numbness and avoidance.

The techniques offered in this workshop will encompass the whole self as we can often retreat and get stuck in our heads. An emphasis will be on learning and incorporating strategies that change the way we work as opposed to using all our personal time to replenish what our work takes out of us.

This session will provide skills to help move yourself out of states of reactivity or avoidance and into the place of possibility to become more centered among the chaos. This is a crucial skill for front-line workers and others working with forensic evidence, investigations, court, witnesses and victims, and those working with individuals who have experienced difficult and traumatic experiences.

Those who would benefit are any folks in a helping profession that feel they are often overly stressed or hijacked by emotion, or those who are no longer enjoying their work and wondering whether they need to make a career change. Helpers who wish to learn specific skills that they can utilize to protect themselves in difficult situations whether it is working with those challenging clients, sitting in a difficult team meeting or interacting with a colleague who pushes your buttons. It is also for those who find that at times their personal lives are creating the WTF moments, which makes it extremely difficult to be present at work.

Diana: “I often say that helping work is even more difficult when the professional is going through their own personal stresses. We will focus on providing a framework and resources to help us navigate the storm. This workshop is especially for those who are feeling completely detached from what they are doing, feeling as though they are just “going through the motions” or counting down the days to retirement.”





4 Responses to New Course this fall – WTF: Essential Grounding and Debriefing Tools for Front Line Workers

  1. Tasha Van Vlack says:

    Morning Erin! Sorry for the delay in responding but our here are some words from Diana, our WTF course creator.

    “Hi Erin, I work a lot with hospital staff especially the high trauma, high stress units of the ICU, ED and others. I am a meditation practitioner and teacher because I also have realized its benefits in helping me manage my workplace stress and life in general. I know there are many skeptics out there including myself before I started so I take many approaches when presenting these skills. I always talk about mindfulness as the power of the pause and discuss how it can be seamlessly integrated into the work day. I also embrace the “whoo whooness” of these skills by naming the skepticism outright and giving examples about how I thought these things would not work and then was surprised by how they did. I speak specifically about how I use them and how they have benefited me. I discuss how these strategies are deceptively simply yet effective when used routinely. Most importantly I pepper the entire presentation with small and varied practises that I get people to do. I present minimal research, but some, preferring that people try the strategies. Everyone seems to participate and recognizes quickly how they can make a noticeable difference to how they feel with a short body scan, or feet on the floor practise. At the end, when I ask people to commit to one small change, many say they wish to incorporate more pauses throughout the day. Overall the grounding workshop have been eagerly received because I think many are feeling so stressed by their work environments that they recognize that these skills are easy, portable and effective if used regularly. I hope you find this helpful. All the best, Diana”

  2. Erin O'Regan RN says:

    I’m giving a CF presentation at my work as an RN in a critical access hospital. Personally, I work on awareness and mindfulness with yoga, meditation, and exercise. It helps significantly with compassion fatigue.
    My question is how is your class on grounding been received? My first thought is people think it is “whoo whoo”, or malarky. Are people interested? Ask questions? Actually, incorporate mindfulness into their lives?
    Thank you,

  3. Colleen Wood says:

    We have no current plans to make this in to a webinar but as the business is increasing its online footprint we will keep this in mind. Thank you for the feedback!

  4. Jenn Gorham says:

    Hiya, i am wondering if this would be offered later as a webinar?

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