Occupational Stress and Growth: recognizing it and finding your resiliency


We've designed this workshop to address a pervasive trend in the helping profession (non-profit, health services, first responders, etc.) of vicarious trauma and occupational stress. Fundamentally, we believe individuals, organizations and teams can work together to either prevent or address the results of occupational stress to support and help restore wholeness when a team member is suffering. While this workshop addresses a heavy topic, we also try to keep the conversation and facilitation tools solution focused.

Workshop Overview:

This workshop provides an overview of vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, burnout, and PTSD; core components of occupational stress in the helping profession. Facilitators use narrative approaches to deconstruct these definitions in approachable ways. In small groups and group discussions, participants brainstorm symptoms they see and their interconnectedness. The workshop continues with a discussion on resiliency, compassion satisfaction, and post traumatic growth. Participants then have the opportunity to create a self-care plan followed by a larger group discussion on how teams can care for each other (or a "team care plan" for groups that work as a team). Practical tools are provided and various learning approaches and styles are considered in training design; facilitators use their expertise in combination with the wisdom and experience of the participants.

Anticipated Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the differences, and interconnectedness, of compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, burnout and PTSD;
  • Identify symptoms of compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, burnout;
  • Shift perspectives on these experiences to identify resiliency, compassion satisfaction, and post traumatic growth;
  • Develop individualized self care plans;
  • Learn from the experiences of others;
  • Brainstorm practices to improve team care;
  • Participants leave the workshop feeling less isolated in their experiences as helpers.


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Jill Thompson, Ma, R. Psych. (tharseo.ca)

Jill (she/her/hers) is a Registered Psychologist and Educator in Calgary. She spent 13 years working with vulnerable populations before starting her private practice and understands the impact the work can have on the personal self and the workplace as a whole. Jill is passionate about giving tools to folks to have “hard conversations” with both clients and colleagues.

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Nic Etheridge Calder, MA (nicetheridgecalder.com)

Nic (he/him/his) is a Leadership and Organizational Development Coach in Calgary, enthusiastic about coaching and change management, particularly in terms of social progress. Nic brings an MA in Leadership, Co-Active Coach training, experience leading in the non-profit sector and key values of creativity, possibility, authenticity & community. Over the last decade, working in nonprofit, Nic has witnessed and experienced the impact made by dedicated and passionate people, as well as the cost of occupational stress. Nic believes the capacity for growth and innovation rests within us, our teams and community.

Length of Workshop: Typically conducted within a 4 hour time period.

Number of participants: 10-40