Sustaining empathy: Preventing burnout

places available

Advanced empathy skills for supporters of people with complex trauma backgrounds; deepening empathy and building vicarious resilience to promote compassion satisfaction.

This is a 1 day course in Bristol (you come to us).

Designed specifically for supporters keen to explore their own reactions and responses, this reflective day provides participants with a safe space to consider what might be going on when people present in ways they find challenging in order to deepen empathy within the support relationship.

Providing knowledge and learning through a trauma informed lens, the course invites participants to reflect on their practice to ensure the best outcomes possible for all and to minimise the risk of vicarious trauma and burnout for staff.

    Also available for teams in-house (we come to you).

    Course aims

    To develop participants understanding of what might be going on when people they support present in ways participants find challenging in order to deepen empathy

    To provide a safe space to reflect upon participants own responses and reactions to ensure the best outcomes possible for people with trauma backgrounds and those supporting them, minimising the risk of vicarious trauma and burnout for staff

    Course objectives

    By the end of the course participants will have had opportunities to:

    • Share the challenges they face in the work they do in a supportive environment
    • Reflect on how personal world views are formed, and how this might impact on supporter approaches
    • Consider how world views may develop for the people we support, and explore emerging themes and issues from a trauma-informed perspective
    • Identify the different levels of empathic responses, and recognise how empathy can be challenged in support relationships
    • Analyse the emotional costs and benefits for supporters, identifying sources of professional development and personal resilience
    • Evaluate personal and group qualities and strengths, and consider how to promote and develop these further, drawing on a variety of theories and approaches
    • Celebrate the work that the participants achieve!

    Venue info:

    Courses in Bristol (you come to us)

    All courses take place at accessible venues in Bristol.

    If for any reason the course cannot be delivered face-to-face, we will take a flexible and responsive approach to keep people learning – which will include delivering the training on the same day as a live interactive online session, or transferring bookings to the next available dates.

    Trainer: Sal Ball

    "The way the course moved through each theme made sense and helped to frame thinking around the whole topic. Will definitely recommend. Thank you!"

    Maya Katz, IFT Co-ordinator, British Red Cross, February 2023

    "Provided a much-needed space for those in the VCSE sector to feel seen, heard and valid. The training course was very helpful."

    Aled Osborne, Community Engagement Manager, Brigstowe, February 2023

    "Having the space to share and listen. To be thoughtful and vulnerable. To acknowledge the challenges that come with this type of work. Fantastic day, thank you Sal!"

    Rosie Price, Crisis House Day Worker, Missing Link, February 2023

    "Honest talks about reactions to people we work with. Sal held the space really well. First place I’ve heard about vicarious neutrality/resilience. I really relate to this and it made things feel more optimistic."

    Course participant, May 2022

    "I found the exercises surrounding “I am..” very useful. “I’m ok, you’re ok”, and recognising my strengths. Sal was a lovely and warm trainer; very welcoming. Highly recommend!"

    Jemma Lord, Complex Needs Support Worker, Next Link, May 2022

    "Reflective practice, triangle, understanding feelings in the workplace. Fantastic – trainer’s passion was evident and made the training as helpful as it was. All exercises were useful."

    Lucy Barnacle, IDVA Access and Response Team, Next Link Housing, February 2020

    "I loved learning about the different ways empathy manifests. Reflecting on our empathy levels was useful and made me think of new ways to deal with these feelings."

    Sophie Bridges, Headway Bristol, February 2020