Dr. Luft is a practicing psychologist with 13 years of experience and uses contemplative practices in her work with clients and supervisees. She is interested in contemplative traditions due to experience in her family of origin with various creative expressive forms of meditation. She has been an educator of clinicians for many years.
Promoting Compassion For Mental Health Professionals
Sunday, May 3, 2020 — 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
The opioid crisis has claimed many lives and continues to affect communities across North America. In Southern Alberta, the problem is particularly pronounced as it sees the highest rate of fentanyl deaths at 20.7 per 100,000 population, compared to the provincial average of 12.5 per 100,000 population. Mental health counsellors are at the front lines of helping people who are dealing with the crisis. This is a demanding role and can lead to feelings of apathy, reduced compassion for self and clients, and burnout. Mindfulness is well established as a way to assist health care clients but less is known about its use with certain health professionals, specifically for increasing pro-social qualities of compassion and empathy in relation to clients. This case study presentation will outline a unique study in Southern Alberta that explores how mindfulness training might influence compassion and empathy for mental health professionals working with those most vulnerable on the front lines. The case study will outline the importance of these qualities for client care as well as for a healthier society. The implications for other health care professionals such as nurses, doctors, and paramedics will also be discussed.
Participants will come away with:
- Comprehend the unique demands on health care professionals responding to the opioid crisis
- Learn about the connections between compassion and client care for those in disadvantaged positions
- Discuss how mindfulness training can assist mental health professionals as well as other members of society in enhancing compassion
With thanks to Dr. Cheryl Currie for her integral part in the creation of this study.