There are many intrinsic rewards that result from helping those who have suffered traumatic events. Listening to stories of trauma and bearing witness to the suffering of others, however, may have negative effects on those serving in helping capacities. The emotional costs of caring can be significant, both for the helpers themselves and those around them.
Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) refers to those physical, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional reactions experienced by helpers as a natural by-product of working with those who have experienced trauma. The mission of AUNE’s Wellness Institute is to serve as a resource to agencies and individuals in the helping professions, developing awareness of the risk and protective factors of STS and promoting strategies to support wellness. The Institute on Wellness for Helping Professionals provides participants with the most current information on the neuroscience of secondary traumatic stress, in addition to evidence-based models and practices to increase resiliency.
AUNE’s Wellness Institute was founded by Dr. Cathy Lounsbury and Dr. Barb Andrews, along with a team of faculty from the Department of Applied Psychology who are motivated and passionate about the need for wellness education and support across disciplines. The Institute was launched in May 2014, at the Antioch Institute on Counselor Wellness, during which 65 counseling professionals (students, educators, clinicians, supervisors, administrators) gathered at Antioch New England for facilitated dialogue to develop standards of practice both individually and collectively for creating a climate conducive to counselor wellness. These standards focused not only on increasing individual’s resilience to STS, but more importantly, enhancing organizational capacity to systematically prevent and respond to the occupational hazard of STS and its complex effect on clients served, individual service providers, and organizational mission.
While the initial focus of the institute was support specifically for those in the counseling profession, our mission has become more expansive as requests have included the need to develop strategies to support ALL helpers (clinicians, activists, teachers, environmentalists, social workers). Beginning in the Fall of 2015 the Institute’s faculty have embarked on a “Wellness Tour,” bringing wellness support and education to sites throughout New England. The Institute has successfully reached more than 450 people in the helping professions during its Wellness Tour! These workshops are offered at little to no cost to the attendees and are approved for Continuing Education Hours (through NBCC) for professional licensure.
For more information on AUNE’s Wellness Institute, or to schedule a workshop at your site, please contact Cathy Lounsbury at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 603-283-2146.
April 13, 2017 – Antioch University New England
9:00 AM — 4:00 PM
The Practice of Compassion: Changing the World and Healing Ourselves
Developing compassion for ourselves can make us more effective at helping others and working for change in the world. This experiential seminar will be aimed at mental health professionals, community activists, and other people who are trying to make the world a better place. We’ll learn mindfulness-based practices to develop self-compassion, heal emotional pain, improve our ability to connect with others, and promote harmony in our organizations. The day will include guided meditations, lecture, group discussions and dyad exercises.
April 8, 2016 – Northwestern Counseling Services (Saint Albans, VT)
Practicing What We Preach: Implications for Wellness in Students and Professionals
Presenter: Devona Stalnaker-Shofner
April 21 & 22, 2016 – Counseling Service for Addison County (Middlebury, VT)
Facilitating Wellness for Helping Professionals
Presenter: Cathy Lounsbury
April 28 & 29, 2016 – Antioch University (Keene, NH)
Clinical Supervision Intensive Workshop
Presenter(s): Antioch Core Faculty
May 12, 2016 – Kennedy Donovan Center (Foxboro, MA)
Facilitating Wellness for Helping Professionals
Presenter: Cathy Lounsbury
Dr. Cathy Lounsbury, Director of Institute, Founding Member, Institute on Wellness for Helping Professionals; Associate Professor, Department of Applied Psychology
Cathy Lounsbury, Ed.D., LCPC is a seasoned counselor, educator, and leader in the study and practice of trauma, wellness and resilience. Cathy has been a clinical mental health counselor for over 25 working with both children and adults, specializing in those who have experienced trauma. Currently, Cathy serves as an Associate Professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program , with a focus on trauma-informed treatment and clinical practice. In this role, she founded Antioch’s Institute on Wellness, providing consultation and training nationally on the mitigation of secondary traumatic stress. Within the Applied Psychology Department at Antioch, Cathy has developed training opportunities for students in trauma-informed, strength-based approaches, including an international clinical training opportunity working with children and teens in Peru. Additionally, Cathy has provided expertise in psychological trauma and resiliency to multi-disciplinary teams exploring the effect of climate impacts on youth and families. As the former Clinical Director of the Maine Psychological Trauma Institute, she has provided consultation, training and supervision to schools and communities throughout New England on Post-traumatic Stress Management, Fostering Resiliency in Children, Mitigating the Effects of Secondary Traumatic Stress, and Promoting Positive Youth Development. Cathy believes strongly in building natural resiliency supports for those who have experienced traumatic events. To this end, she has served on both local and national community trauma response teams following national disasters, terrorism, and other traumatic events and was the founder and director of the IMPACT Team, a youth –focused community trauma team, consulting on 200+ incidents. Cathy has also advocated for policy and environmental changes to support youth and has led several federal initiatives, including Safe Schools Healthy Students and Grants to Reduce Alcohol Abuse, to create better systems to support youth and families. To this end, Cathy was able to secure over $7 million in grant funding to support the youth of Maine.
Dr. Barb Andrews, Founding Member, Institute on Wellness for Helping Professionals; Antioch University New England Interim Provost
Barb holds a Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Northern Colorado, an M.S. in Counseling from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, and a B.S. in Nursing from the University of New Hampshire. She has served as the President of the Colorado Counseling Association, trained and supervised counselors as tenured faculty for a number of years in both face to face and online programs. She was chosen to be one of ten individuals within the field to represent the United States as part of a program supported by the National Board of Certified Counselors to be part of a Counseling Institute to help establish and develop the profession of counseling in the developing nation of Bhutan. She has provided direct counseling and administrative services as Dean of Student Development and Director of the Counseling Center at Green Mountain College in Vermont, has a small private practice, and formerly worked with Hospice of Central PA for many years serving as both a practitioner and consultant.
Dr. Devona Stalnaker-Shofner, Educational Coordinator, Institute on Wellness for Helping Professionals; Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the SAAC Concentration, Department of Applied Psychology
Devona received her Doctor of Education in Counselor Education and Supervision from Argosy University Atlanta. Her dissertation research focused on wellness in graduate students as they transition to counselors-in-training and during clinical practicum. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Georgia, as well as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). Devona has been in professional practice as a counselor since 2001, and her experience includes providing individual, group, and marriage and family counseling to clients presenting with treatment concerns such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders, as well as substance abuse, chemical dependency, and recovery. Additionally, her professional experience includes work with trauma, grief, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and self-mutilation/injury.
Devona has presented at a number of national conferences speaking on the topic of counselor wellness, as well as facilitating workshops in this area. Though her research interests have primarily been focused on counselor wellness, her other interests are in multiculturalism and family systems, and include the influence of acculturation, intracultural colorism, and factors influencing mate selection.
Devona is a member of Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology, as well as Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society. She is also a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES), and the American Mental Health Counselor Association (AMHCA).
At the core of my teaching philosophy is that good teachers leave an indelible impression on their students. I view myself as a highly skilled practitioner, and my job as an educator is to make the abstract more accessible, essentially bridging the gap between understanding theory to the practical application of concepts and helping students to integrate the two worlds. Learning is based on synthesis and integration, not on regurgitation of facts. Consistent with my systemic theoretical orientation of practice, it is my belief that learning does not occur within a vacuum. The classroom is a microcosm of the professional world. In the capacity as the facilitator of the education process, it is my job to help the student to determine and find their future role within that community.
Tim Desmond has been appointed as Distinguished Faculty in The Institute on Wellness for Helping Professionals. This appointment recognizes Tim’s record of outstanding professional service, scholarship and dedication to wellness for those in the helping professions. As Distinguished Faculty for the Wellness Institute, Tim will be presenting for the Applied Psychology Department Internship Site Supervisors and will be collaborating on a professional full day workshop this Spring.
Tim Desmond is a mindfulness teacher, therapist in private practice, and co-founder of Morning Sun Mindfulness Center in Alstead, NH. He is the author of Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy (W.W. Norton, 2015) and offers training and consultation to therapists around the world, helping them to integrate positive psychology and mindfulness practices into their work.
Tim has presented at Yale University, the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy Colloquium, Greater Oregon Behavioral Health Conference, and the International Society for Ethics in Psychology and Psychiatry, as well as to mental health audiences around the country. His writings on mindfulness and positive psychology have appeared in the Psychotherapy Networker and the Mindfulness Bell magazine. Tim was interviewed about self-compassion by the Huffington Post, and writes for major mental health websites such as Madinamerica.com.
He developed and teaches “dialogue-based mindfulness training,” a technique for teaching mindfulness and self-compassion in which the client is guided through a meditation while giving the clinician feedback about their experience in real-time. The clinician uses this feedback to adjust and custom tailor the meditation instructions in order to ensure the client learns the technique effectively.
In 2005, Tim was ordained by Thich Nhat Hanh into the Order of Interbeing after many years of practicing in that tradition. He leads meditation retreats around the US and teaches regularly at Morning Sun Mindfulness Center in NH. In addition to the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh, Tim teaches Nonviolent Communication and positive psychology.