Sustaining empathy: Preventing burnout

In-house course

Advanced empathy skills for supporters of clients with complex needs; maintaining compassion and avoiding empathy fatigue.

This is a 1 day in-house course (we come to you).

Designed specifically for supporters keen to explore their own responses and deepen empathy, this reflective day provides participants with a safe space to explore how and why they feel challenged by certain clients.

Aimed at strengthening the support relationship in challenging circumstances, the course considers what happens when change is hard, and how to remain hopeful and helpful for clients with complex needs.

    This training is available for individual staff members on our open programme in Bristol (you come to us).

    Course aims

    To develop participants' understanding of what might be going on when clients present in ways they find challenging, especially in relation to change, to deepen and sustain their empathy with those clients

    To provide a safe space to reflect upon participants' own responses and reactions to ensure the best outcomes possible for complex clients, whilst retaining a strong sense of satisfaction for supporters

    Course objectives

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

    • Explore what is going on when clients challenge out empathy, and what our expectations are around helping and change
    • Reflect on world views about change and how our own experiences interact with the people we support
    • Consider the importance of remaining hopeful and realistic with clients
    • Identify the different levels of empathetic responding and recognise the thoughts, feelings and actions of advanced empathy
    • Consider the factors that can impact on empathy in order to assess the emotional demands and benefits for supporters
    • Explore the skills and qualities necessary to remain compassionate and avoid burnout

    Venue info:

    In-house courses (we come to you)

    We would ask you to arrange a suitable venue and refreshments for the training. Contact us for more information.

    Trainer: Sal Ball

    "It was brilliant. Time to share feelings and be honest about insecurities in a safe place. Sal is great and really engaged with the group. The day gave me a confidence boost and better insight."

    Course participant, Bristol, June 2021

    "Adding in sociological theories was interesting and having lots of time to reflect. Sal was very open and honest which meant I also felt comfortable doing this."

    Course participant, Bristol, June 2021

    "Literally everything was useful. Even the abstract content that I don’t usually like to do made sense and nicely broke things up. Group discussions were well structured and there were no awkward silences. Thank you!"

    Course participant, Bristol, June 2021

    "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. Would be a good course for people who feel they are ‘burning out’."

    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

    "Training with other organisations helps to expand knowledge. An enjoyable day at a good pace to take things in."

    Jim Miller-Webb, Headway Bristol, February 2020