Telehealth Certification Institute

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Transcending Empathy Fatigue by Cultivating Empathy Resiliency

Join us for a Live Webinar event on June 9, 2023 from:
12pm - 3:20pm Eastern Daylight Time
3 CE Credits available for behavioral health clinicians

In traditional Native American teaching, each time a medicine man/woman heals someone, you give away a piece of yourself until at some point you require healing. The journey to become a modern-day healer involves an understanding that the professional helper at some point in time may also become wounded and require healing. Dr. Stebnicki coined the term “empathy fatigue” in 1998 and has been conceptually describing, evaluating, and treating the experience of this phenomenon ever since. Empathy fatigue results from a state of psychological, emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and occupational exhaustion that occurs as the counselors’ wounds are continually revisited by their clients’ life stories of stress, traumatic stress, grief, loss, chronic illness, and disability. There appears to be a “shadow side” of empathy during the therapeutic relationship as professional helpers enter the deeply emotional experience of their client’s world of extraordinary stressful and traumatic events. Thus, professional helpers are at risk for the experience of empathy fatigue. This course challenges participants to: (a) engage in self-exploration of your personal and professional growth potential, (b) develop self-care practices that are both practical for your life, yet create deeper meaning for personal integration and insight, (c) model self-care practices for your clients that form the foundation of the therapeutic relationship and earning the circle of trust, and (d) explore multiple therapeutic resources that empower both you and your clients for living life in optimal wellness. Overall, Transcending Empathy Fatigue utilizes guided self-exploration, self-assessment, and development of your intuitive capabilities to empower your mind, body, and spirit for personal and professional growth. An extensive workbook with over 50 pages of material is included in this course.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and evaluate the cognitive, behavioral, spiritual, process skills, emotional, physical, and occupational characteristics of the empathy fatigue experience using the Global Assessment of Empathy Functioning (GAEF-II) model.
  • Explore the experience and impact of empathy fatigue as it relates to the professional’s ethical responsibility of maintaining optimal self-care while providing competent services during intense therapeutic interactions with clients’ experience of extraordinary stressful and traumatic events.
  • Illustrate self-care strategies for the prevention, preparation, and reduction of the empathy fatigue experience cultivating wellness, behavioral health, mindfulness stress reduction, and other self-care approaches to increase empathy resiliency for optimal wellness.
Dr. Mark Stebnicki headshot

Mark A. Stebnicki

Mark A. Stebnicki, Ph.D., LCMHC, DCMHS, CRC, CMCC is Professor Emeritus and former Coordinator of the Military and Trauma Counseling (MTC) Certificate Program which he developed in 2015 in the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation at East Carolina University. Dr. Stebnicki also developed the national Clinical Military Counseling Certificate (CMCC) in 2016; a 12 hr CE program offered nationally through the Telehealth Certificate Institute. Dr. Stebnicki has been a counselor educator, researcher, practitioner with over 30 years’ experience in rehabilitation and mental health. He has practiced and published in the areas related to stress, traumatic stress, disaster mental health response, and the psychosocial aspects of chronic illness and disability. His primary focus currently is working with military service members, veterans, veterans with disabilities, and military families. Dr. Stebnicki has published 10 professional books, most recently two books published in 2021 through the American Counseling Association/Wiley Publishing titled: Clinical Military Counseling: Guidelines for Practice and Counseling Practice During Phases of a Pandemic Virus. He also has published 40 journal articles and book chapters, and has provided over 100 presentations nationally, regionally, and statewide. He has served on many statewide and national professional counseling boards.

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