Courageous Conversations by Dr. Michelle Mitcham – April 24, 2018

Thank you, Dr. Michelle Mitcham, LMHC, NCC, CCMHC, CFM, for a wonderful presentation!

Event Summary & Notes

The Healing Arts Alliance would like to thank our April Lunch and Learn Presenter Dr. Michelle Mitcham.

April’s lunch and learn attendees enjoyed an engaging presentation by Dr. Michelle A. Mitcham, LMHC, NCC, CCMHC, CFM, on “Courageous Conversations about Compassion Fatigue and Burnout: Helping professionals and helpers help themselves: Implications for a Self-Care Plan.” The discussion was held at the Capital Regional Conference Center on April 24.

As promised, Dr. Mitcham shared strategies for practicing mindfulness and self-care, including a relaxing experience of guided imagery. But first, she gave us her personal story to illustrate how and why she learned about compassion and about the consequences of burnout, or compassion fatigue. She invited us to share our thoughts and experiences with compassion fatigue, and what early signs are observed to signal the need for change. Sometimes feelings overwhelm to the point of desensitization or disconnect. She invited us to practice mindfulness in the present by noticing such experiences and asking without judgment, “what is the message here for me?” Sometimes, a change in our surroundings or our behavior is the appropriate response to better manage stressors.

She spoke of the universality of emotions, and how to extend compassion to difficult people by asking yourself, “where is this feeling coming from?” and imagining a scenario that might motivate a person to act the way they are. There are cultural ways of coping that vary among populations. People who are hurting often end up hurting others. We all seek validation and appreciation. We want to be truly seen and heard.

Setting boundaries is important to self protection. It is okay to say no when needed. Invest in yourself and your self care. Take the time to replenish and renew your reserves. With reflection and courage, we can illuminate our blind spots (we all have them) and redefine who we are. Besides the tools we practiced during the discussion, Dr. Mitcham also provided several materials for further study of emotional management.

Learn more about Dr. Mitcham and how to reach her: The free Lunch and Learn series is brought to you by the Healing Arts Alliance at Capital Regional Medical Center. All are welcome. Mark your calendar to join us for the next program on June 26, noon to 1pm.

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