Peer Assistance Services, Inc.
       Beyond Burnout:                                       Founded 1984 - Peer Assistance...
Burnout                                   Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
     The syndrome of emotional                   ...
The Downside of Stress                                                                Signs of NOT Coping Well
           ...
Change – Are You Ready?                                 Create Your Plan
Change is HARD                                   ...
Substance Use Disorders                         Substance Abuse and Women
                                                ...
Make Self-Care a Priority
         Self-                                            Creating Your Parachute
ASK YOURSELF: ...
Combating: Accountability                      Commit to Making a Change
MAKE A COMMITTMENT
 What is one thing you are    ...
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Beyond Burnout: The Risks of Being in the Helping Profession

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Jennifer Place, Director of EA and Workplace Programs, presents the complex psychological and physical consequences of strenuous work, and recommendations for self-care.

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Beyond Burnout: The Risks of Being in the Helping Profession

  1. 1. Peer Assistance Services, Inc. Beyond Burnout: Founded 1984 - Peer Assistance: a planned, The Risks of Being in the Helping coordinated system of colleague helping colleague to deal with a specific problem Profession Dedicated to providing quality, accessible prevention and intervention services in COVA Conference workplaces and communities, focusing on October 29, 2008 substance abuse and related issues Outreach and Education Jennifer Place, MA, CEAP, CAC II, EA-CS EA- Peer Assistance Services, Inc Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Objectives Terri Spahn Nelson, MSSW, LISW For persons who work with trauma survivors, the Introductions most important part of coping with the intensity of the work is to acknowledge it will affect you. If Risks you’ve been trained in crisis intervention and you’ Psychological empathic, active listening skills, this work will affect Physical you. If you really listen to what the client is telling you, this work will affect you. Recognizing that it is Increasing Self-Awareness Self- “normal” to be affected by this type of work is the normal” Strategies for Self-Care Self- most important coping skill that you can give to yourself. You’re not alone. It’s okay to feel You’ It’ outraged, horrified, shocked, saddened, or vulnerable. Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Risks of Your Profession Compassion Fatigue Compassion Fatigue Physical Threats of The transformation in the inner experience of Harm the helping professional that comes about as a Burnout Increased Stress result of empathetic engagement with victims’ victims’ PTSD HBP trauma material. Depression CV Disease - Empathetic Strain Anxiety Disorders Weight Gain/Loss - Vicarious/Indirect Trauma Behavioral Problems Suicide/Death - Secondary Victimization Relationship Disruptions Substance Use Emotional Residue Disorders Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008
  2. 2. Burnout Post Traumatic Stress Disorder The syndrome of emotional DSM Diagnosis exhaustion, Persistent re-experience of a trauma that re- depersonalization, and evoked intense fear, helplessness or horror reduced personal Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated accomplishment, often with the trauma experienced by workers in Persistent symptoms of increased arousal high-stress jobs. high- Symptoms extend past 1 month Clinically significant distress or impairment Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Psychological Risks Likely Contributors Negative consequences of hearing about 1) Exposure to the stories (or images) of others’ traumatic experiences others’ trauma victims May persist for months or years after 2) Your empathic sensitivity to their working with trauma survivors suffering 3) Any unresolved emotional issues that Can occur even if you LOVE your work relate (affectively or symbolically) to Can be stronger if helper has a history of the suffering person. personal trauma - Countertransference Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Likely Contributors Physical Risks 4) You care for others more than yourself Physical safety 5) Your sense of responsibility to others The STRESS factor has become out of balance Substance Use Disorders 6) You feel you must “make it all better,” better,” Suicide fix or solve all problems for your clients 7) You feel you have failed when you can’t “make it all better,” fix or solve all can’ better,” problems for your clients Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008
  3. 3. The Downside of Stress Signs of NOT Coping Well • Headaches • Suppressed immune functioning • Hypertension • Increase in stress hormones Changes in sleep habits Feeling like “everything is • Stomach Physical problems • Cardiovascular disease (too much/little) hopeless” hopeless” • Death • Exhaustion Changes in eating Difficulty concentrating, habits distracted or “in a fog” fog” • Anxiety • Frustration Unable to shake off Unable to control anger, Social Stressor Emotional • Grouchy • Irritability feeling blue or down irritable over little things • Impulsive • Excitable • Critical/hostile Increased use of Crying a lot or “shutting • Complaining alcohol or other drugs down” feelings down” • Oversensitive • Poor concentration • Isolative • Inattentive Feeling like “it’s just it’ Fighting with family, Cognitive • Reasoning impaired not worth it” it” friends and/or co-workers co- • Distractible Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Increasing Self Awareness Is There an Upside? What negative consequences have you Job stress and burnout can motivate you been experiencing? to make changes to improve your How will you recognize warning signs in personal and professional life the future? Increased optimism How can you help yourself? Increased resiliency Create better boundaries for future Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 What You Should Do Take Responsibility 1. Accept and take responsibility for what Accept your you are experiencing feelings 2. Create a plan (or improve your plan) for Decide to change self-care what you are doing self- to help yourself 3. Create accountability for following through with your plan May or may not be as easy as pushing a button Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008
  4. 4. Change – Are You Ready? Create Your Plan Change is HARD BE AGGRESSIVE, INTENTIONAL Change is uncomfortable Don’t go skydiving without a Don’ Change can be resisted by those around parachute you Recruit help Successful change happens in small Learn to recognize warning signs in increments yourself and others Change is HARD Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Getting In Your Own Way Effective Coping Strategies Are you getting in your own way when it comes to self care? Monitor yourselves to catch the following words: But Can’t Can’ Won’t Won’ Never Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Coping Strategies: Less Effective Coping Strategies What NOT to do DON’T engage in coping strategies that DON’ will perpetuate/intensify negative symptoms down the road Drinking alcohol, drugging Excessive spending, gambling Eating unhealthy foods Isolating from others Other Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008
  5. 5. Substance Use Disorders Substance Abuse and Women Women are 48% more likely to be prescribed a An estimated 10% of the general population narcotic, anti-anxiety or potentially abusable anti- will develop an addictive disorder in their drug lifetime Women who use sedatives, anti-anxiety, or anti- hypnotics are almost twice as likely to become Higher stress jobs have likelihood higher than addicted 10% Women who drink: “Oops Phenomenon” Phenomenon” get drunk faster become addicted more easily Approximately 10% of individuals who need develop alcohol related diseases treatment receive it more readily Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Alcohol Advice Healthy men up to age 65 No more than 4 drinks in a day AND No more than 14 drinks in a week Women (and healthy men over age 65) No more than 3 drinks in a day AND No more than 7 drinks in a week Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Mental Illness Suicide 25% of working adults will have a mental 90% of completed suicides have mental illness ad/or substance use disorder in any illness and/or substance use disorder given year 2004 Data: Men & women in jobs with high levels of 33% Alcohol stress twice as likely to meet criteria for 17% Opiates anxiety and depression 13% Cocaine/Amphetamine 8% Marijuana Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008
  6. 6. Make Self-Care a Priority Self- Creating Your Parachute ASK YOURSELF: AT WORK What is fun and/or enjoyable for you? Establish guidelines with your colleagues How can you make your environment(s) environment(s) Support others more fun/enjoyable on a day to day Take BREAKS basis? “Buddy-Check 9” Buddy- 9” How can you make your environment(s) environment(s) EAP more predictable? Other Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Creating Your Parachute Creating Your Parachute WITH VICTIMS AT HOME Be self-aware of your reactions to victims self- Journaling - Anger, sadness, frustration Healthy Relationships Visualization Joyful activities/hobbies - Bubble, One-way mirror One- Sleep Deep Breathing Balanced Diet Other Don’t Watch/Read the News Don’ Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Creating Your Parachute Build Your Resiliency ADDITIONAL Optimism Keep your day as predictable as possible - An active, empowering, constructive attitude that creates conditions for success by focusing and Volunteer or Teach acting on possibilities and opportunities. Church/Community Activities - Stay strength-based with your others/yourself. strength- Mentor Hardiness Part-time Job Part- - Actively engage and believe that you can influence Social Activism the course of events in your life and accept change as a part of it. Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008
  7. 7. Combating: Accountability Commit to Making a Change MAKE A COMMITTMENT What is one thing you are Life is not about living in the dark, but going to change today? bringing light to it. If you give up on How will you stay committed change, you give up on the light. to that change? Now, why would you want to do that? - James Downton, Jr., Ph.D. Downton, To whom will you be accountable? Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008 Resources www.friedsocialworker.com International Society for Traumatic Stress Thank You!! Studies www.compassionfatigue.org Jennifer Place Victim Services Network Peer Assistance Services, Inc American Psychological Association 303-369-0039 x 209 303- 369- Pearlman & Saakvitne, 1995. Trauma and the Saakvitne, www.peerassist.org Therapist jplace@peerassist.org Peer Assistance Services, Inc. 2008

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