The Ethics of Self-Care: Using Art to Identify Why Burnout and Vicarious Trauma Matter


The Ethics of Self-Care: Using Art to Identify Why Burnout and Vicarious Trauma Matter

2.5 CEs for NYS LCATs, LCSW, LMSW (LMHC pending)
Taught by: Drena Fagen, LCSW-R, LCAT, ATR-BC
Saturday, April 22, 2016, 10:30 - 1:00
Location: Create Community 11 Peekskill Rd, Cold Spring 10516
$95 - Includes all art supplies
No art experience necessary. This workshop is open to any direct service helping professionals, as well as administrators interested in gaining new tools for dealing with worker burnout.

Register for both the morning (Ethics of Self-Care) and afternoon (Using Art for Mindfulness) trainings on April 22 trainings.  REGISTER FOR BOTH HERE.

2.5 learning contact hours
10:15 - 10:30  Registration. Light refreshments, coffee/tea provided.
10:30 -  11:15 Presentation on terminology and current thinking regarding the ethics of self-care.
11:15 - 12:30 Hands-on art project for deeper understanding of material.
12:30 - 1:00 Discussion, action steps, and synthesis of material
1:00-12:45  Evaluation forms and CE certificate distribution

Workers in helping professions are often under-appreciated, over-burdened and expected to be empathetic at all costs: laying the groundwork for burnout and compassion fatigue. This hands-on single session workshop will use creative arts and didactic presentation to help you identify and reduce the effects of burnout and vicarious trauma in your own life, with particular attention to our ethical responsibility to do so. We will explore how these syndromes affect our ability to effectively service our clients.  Participants will identify symptoms of secondary traumatic stress in their own work and lives and will learn specific strategies for reducing the negative impact (i.e. cognitive restructuring, action-oriented behaviors, options for creating community and sharing experiences).

READ SOME REVIEWS of our previous trainings.

Topics covered will include:

• Why helping professionals have an ethical responsiblity to take care of themselves— to ensure competency and better client outcomes.
• Learn the differences between Vicarious Trauma, Burnout, Stress, and Secondary Trauma
• Increase self-awareness about how the role of a helping professional may cause traumatic stress 
• Identify specific ways in which burnout is reinforced by your school, agency or institution and brainstorm solutions
• Develop concrete action steps that you can take to reduce professional burnout

Teaching methods
1. Lecture and personal examples from instructor's experiences with burnout and vicarious trauma.
2. Short power-point presentation to review terms and introduce the concept of ethical responsibility to our self-care toolbox.
2. Hands-on art projects for self-reflection and increased understanding of the impact of burnout and vicarious trauma on worker efficacy.
3. Group discussion

The learning objectives of the course.

  • Define the differences between burnout, secondary trauma, and vicarious trauma.
  • Differentiate between burnout and stress.
  • Identify two (2) reasons that practitioners have an ethical responsibility to take care of themselves.
  • Identify two (2) ways in which unresolved worker vicarious trauma or burnout can impact our clients
  • Describe two (2) practical, immediate solutions to resolving burnout, vicarious trauma or stress.

Identifying reasonable limits is essential to preventing burnout—which is the gap between what is possible and what is expected; the gap between your expectations and perceived reward. Over-achievers and perfectionist personalities are at particular risk. This brief workshop will help you clarify whether the expectations you set for yourself and your clients are emotionally or rationally determined. If you’re headed for burnout, we'll show you how to take care of yourself now.


Seminars and trainings on vicarious trauma are often titled “Self-care for Burnout” or similar. This nomenclature exemplifies a cultural problem in the helping professions: “When addressing the distress of colleagues we have focused on the use of individual coping strategies, implying that those who feel traumatized may not be balancing life and work adequately and may not be making effective use of leisure, self-care, or supervision.”(Bober, T. & Regehr, C., 2006) The unspoken message is that secondary trauma is the worker's fault. This paradigm isolates professionals who may be fearful of appearing ‘too emotional’, ‘less-than-perfect,’ or ‘not up to the job.’ As conscientious helping professionals we strive for personal wellness, but concrete solutions for relieving the traumatic stress of our work can seem elusive.

Traveling from NYC to Cold Spring:
Our office is located at 11 Peekskill Road, Cold Spring, NY and is accessible via Metro North commuter trains. Trains run hourly on the weekends out of Grand Central Terminal. It is a beautiful 20-25 minute walk through the village or a 5-minute cab to the studio from the Cold Spring train station. There is ample parking if you choose to drive.

New York Creative Arts Therapists PLLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0275, and is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed creative arts therapists #CAT-0026 and licensed mental health counselors (pending #MHC-0065). New York Creative Arts Therapists PLLC may offer NYSED approved clock hours for events or educational programs that have been approved by the department. Sessions for which NYSED-approved clock hours will be awarded are identified on our website




Price: $95.00
Saturday, April 22 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
"The information presented was SO relevant to my work...great, interactive and funny."

Participant feedback from April 2014 Presentation at New York Presbyterian, Peggy Greene Lecture Series for Child Life Professionals