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PCWTA Curriculum

Healing the Healer: Transforming Secondary Traumatic Stress Through Intentional Creativity

Level: Advanced Practice – (Lineworker, Supervisor, Manager)

Credits: 6

Intended Audience: Child welfare staff, lineworkers, supervisors, managers

Description of Course: This experiential course uses Intentional Creativity, which includes painting and mindfulness practices—to give child welfare professionals personalized tools to rejuvenate, prevent and heal secondary traumatic stress (STS) and burnout so they can best serve their clients while maintaining vibrant health.

Intended Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will participate in a led step-by-step Intentional Creativity process to prevent and support healing from STS, compassion fatigue, and burnout.
  • Participants will experientially address the effects of secondary trauma on cognitive, emotional and nervous system levels.
  • Participants will focus on positive, compassionate emotions and relax their nervous system in a peaceful environment to help heal and rejuvenate.
  • Participants will share in confidential opening and closing circles to support a safe environment and deepen the connection and awareness of themselves and each other to enhance the healing process.
  • Participants will connect to and honor the reasons they went into child welfare.
  • Participants will access their inner guidance to discover personalized tools for self-care and increase their self-awareness.
  • Participants will learn self-care methods to share with the children and families they serve.
  • Participants will have the chance to renew their energy and rejuvenate to help increase and improve critical decision making skills, relationships with clients, and employee retention.
  • Participants will tangibly experience the agency’s support and recognition for their health, well-being and needs, thus enhancing the relationship and work environment.

Topics Include:

  • Brief discussion of STS and burnout and possible symptoms if not addressed.
  • Strategies to reduce STS and promote rejuvenation and healing in child welfare professionals.
  • Experiential introduction to Intentional Creativity-a method that combines painting, writing, and mindfulness-to heal and transform STS, compassion fatigue and burnout.
  • Recognizing that accessing one’s creativity is not predicated on identifying as an artist.
  • Creativity-in whatever form the participant ultimately chooses- is vital for healing and rejuvenation.
  • Identifying personalized tools for self-care to utilize after the training.
  • Participants will leave the training with a painting, journal, and other items to support self-care at home.
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