Counselor Stress Management Workshop<br />Presented at Virginia Counselor’s Association Fall 2009 Conference<br />“Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness”<br />-Richard Carlson<br />
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS<br />WHAT IS IT MEANT BY COUNSELOR WELLNESS?<br />WHY IS IT ESSENTIAL FOR US AS COUNSELORS TO PRIORITIZE OUR OWN WELLNESS?<br />
WHY IS STRESS MANAGEMENT IMPORTANT FOR SCHOOL COUNSELORS?<br />Considered a vulnerable profession due to the nature of work in dealing with intimate exposure of student’s struggles and suffering. <br />Also exposure to “high touch hazards”<br />Unsolvable problems that have to be solved<br />Students not having resources or skills to meet goals<br />Inability to say “no”<br />Constant empathy and interpersonal sensitivity<br />What are High Touch Hazards?*<br />characteristics of professionals in the helping fields which make them more susceptible to burnout<br />*From Preventing Counselor Impairment (2003)<br />
CURRENT STATISTICS<br />From www.counselorwellness.com, 2008<br />
% OF HIGH RISK CASELOADS<br />From www.counselorwellness.com, 2008<br />
BURNOUT<br />JOB SATISFACTION<br />STRESS<br />WHAT THE STUDIES SHOW<br />
WHAT THE STUDIES SHOW<br />School counselors endorsed the highest role ambiguity and role conflict scores and the second highest negative mental health scores (Pierson-Hubeny & Archambault 1987)<br />School counselors ranked highest in scores for emotional exhaustion, reduced personal accomplishment, and depersonalization (Butler & Constantine 2005)<br />High levels of burnout are associated with low levels of job satisfaction, little organizational commitment, attrition , and professionals wanting to quit the counseling field (Lambie 2007)<br />
WHAT THE STUDIES SHOW<br /><ul><li>Undefined job boundaries can lead to taking on a large amount of responsibilities and can lead to burnout (Butler & Constantine 2006)
Burnout is related to three characteristics: personality, demographic, and environmental/organizational factors (Brewer & Clippard 2002)</li></ul>PERSONALITY<br />Introversion<br />Sensitivity<br />Trouble with appropriate boundaries <br />Taking home work issues and burdens<br />DEMOGRAPHIC<br />Gender<br />Race<br />Marital Status<br />Age<br />Years of Experience<br />ENVIRONMENTAL<br />Workload<br />Work environment<br />Peer & Supervisor Support<br />
WHAT PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES DO COUNSELORS HAVE?<br />
ACA TASKFORCE ON COUNSELOR WELLNESS & IMPAIRMENT<br />Established in 2003 by Governing Council of the American Counseling Association<br /><ul><li>Goal is to educate counselors on:
Education serves to remind counselors of their knowledge on stress and self-care and help them find their vulnerabilities and offer strategies to self improve</li></ul>From www.counseling.org/wellness_taskforce<br />
ACA TASKFORCE ON WELLNESS & IMPAIRMENT<br />Compassion fatigue: A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by suffering or misfortune<br />Vicarious traumatization: A cumulative process of change in the helpers' inner experience that happens through empathic connection with clients<br />Burn-out:A state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long-term involvement in emotionally demanding situations<br />10% of counselors, or roughly 6,000 members that are impaired at any given time<br />Manifestations of impairment include:<br />Burnout <br />Compassion fatigue <br />Vicarious traumatization<br />Depression, anxiety, other mental health conditions <br />Over-involvement and overwork <br /> From www.counseling.org/wellness_taskforce<br />
LACK OF COORDINATION</li></li></ul><li>SHORT RELAXATION <br /><ul><li>Correct Breathing: Learn to always breath using the diaphragm. Let the breath reach the bottom of the lungs and let the chest and shoulders relax. High, shallow chest breathing is stressful and gives messages of stress to the brain.
Stretching: Gently roll your head and shoulders many times a day. Also, gently stretch other areas of the body that may need it.
Tense-relax Muscles:Tighten the muscles you want to relax and feel the tension. Let the muscles become loose and limp and feel the relaxation.
Jaw Drop: Be aware of any tightness in your jaw. Allow your jaw to loosen by separating your teeth. </li></ul>From http://www.counseling.colostate.edu/mental-health/stress-management/documents/Short%20Relaxation%20Techniques.pdf<br />
PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION<br />Loosen your clothing, take off your shoes, and get comfortable. <br />Take a few minutes to relax, breathing in and out in slow, deep breaths. <br />When you’re relaxed and ready to start, shift your attention to your right foot. Take a moment to focus on the way it feels. <br />Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10. <br />Relax your right foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and the way your foot feels as it becomes limp and loose. <br />Stay in this relaxed state for a moment, breathing deeply and slowly. <br />When you’re ready, shift your attention to your left foot. <br />Follow the same sequence of muscle tension and release. Move slowly up through your body — legs, abdomen, back, neck, face — contracting and relaxing the muscle groups as you go<br />Right foot <br />Left foot <br />Right calf <br />Left calf <br />Right thigh Left thigh <br />Hips and buttocks Stomach <br />Chest <br />Back <br />Right arm and hand <br />Left arm and hand <br />Neck and shoulders <br />Face<br />http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_relief_meditation_yoga_relaxation.htm<br />
BE SMART FROM THE START, MAKE WISE CHOICES WHEN IT COMES TO NUTRITION<br />PERKY <br />SLUGGISH<br />EAT YOUR WAY TO STRESS-FREE<br /><ul><li>Complex Carbs</li></ul>(bread, pasta, broccoli, potatoes, corn, bananas)<br /><ul><li>Magnesium</li></ul>(leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains)<br /><ul><li>Vitamin B6</li></ul>(salmon, light meat chicken, avocado)<br /><ul><li>Vitamin C</li></ul>(sweet red peppers, oranges, brussels sprouts)<br /><ul><li>Calcium</li></ul>(spinach, kale, white and pinto beans)<br />AVOID FOODS THAT ARE HIGH IN<br />Sugar<br />(causes blood sugar level to spike then crash)<br />Caffeine<br />(raises stress hormone and can lead to insomnia & dehydration)<br />Sodium<br />(affects blood pressure)<br />The Stress Watchers Diet; www.associatecontent.com<br />
“It is not possible to give to others what you do not possess” Gerald Corey<br />HOW TO IMPLEMENT A SELF-CARE PROGRAM<br />a holistic approach<br />
DEVELOPING A <br />“CULTURE OF WELLNESS”<br /><ul><li>Ongoing assessment of personal wellness
SEEK SOCIAL SUPPORT TO KEEP YOUR MENTAL HEALTH ON TRACK
TAKE CARE OF YOUR MOST IMPORTANT INSTRUMENT….YOU!</li></li></ul><li>SOURCES<br />American Counseling Association. (2009). Taking steps for a mentally <br /> healthier you. Counseling Corner. Alexandria, VA: Author<br />American Counseling Association. (2008). ACA’s Taskforce on Counselor Impairment and Wellness. Retrieved April 14, 2009. www.counseling.org/wellness_taskforce/index.htm<br />American Counseling Association. (2008). Replenish the Well: An Experience in Self-Care.Retrieved April 14, 2009. www.counseling.org/wellness_taskforce/PDF/ACA_taskforce_lifepie.pdf<br />American School Counseling Association. (2004). Ethical standards for school counselors. Retrieved April 15, 2009. http://www.schoolcounselor.org/content.asp?contentid=173<br />Brewer, E.W., Clippart, L.F. (2002) Burnout and job satisfaction among student support services personnel. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 13(2), 169-186.<br />Bryant, R.M., Constantine, M.G (2006). Multiple role balance, job satisfaction, and life satisfaction in women school counselors [Electronic version]. Professional School Counseling Journal. <br />Butler, S.K., Constantine, M.G. (2005) Collective self-esteem and burnout in professional school counselors. Professional School Counseling, 9 (1), 55-62.<br />Creating Counselor Wellness. (2008). Retrieved October 20, 2009. www.counselorwellness.com<br />Lambie. G.W. (2007) The contribution of ego development level to burnout in school counselors: Implications for professional school counseling. Journal of Counseling and Development, 85, 82-88<br />Lawson, G., Venart, B., (2003). Preventing counselor impairment: vulnerability, wellness, and resilience. American Counselor Association’s Task Force. <br />