Self-Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities

Self-Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities (SCHC)

Building Resilience and Preventing Burnout

Have you ever wondered if there was a skill you could use to help you sustain real compassionate care for patients in the face of competing demands like technology and documentation, time pressure, patient trauma and fatigue?  Burgeoning research is showing that self-compassion skills can be of particular benefit to health care professionals, allowing them to experience greater satisfaction in their caregiving roles, less stress, and more emotional resilience.  The good news is that self-compassion skills are trainable and build your capacity to handle stressful challenges.

Self-Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities (SCHC) is a 6-hr evidence-based healthcare adaptation of Mindful Self-Compassion, the empirically supported program of Dr. Kristin Neff at UT Austin and Dr. Chris Germer at Harvard Medical School. This brief training aims to improve wellbeing and personal resilience in healthcare professionals by teaching mindful self-compassion skills to deal with distressing emotional situations as they occur at work and at home. 

In research conducted in 2019 the SCHC program was found to significantly decrease depression, stress, secondary traumatic stress and burnout, and to increase self-compassion, mindfulness, compassion for others, and job satisfaction in healthcare professionals.  See below for more details

As opposed to other self-care techniques, self-compassion practices can be used on the spot while at work with patients and colleagues.  As a participant of the program you can learn tools to use throughout the day to:

  Care for yourself while caring for others

  Be able to listen with compassion 

  Handle difficult emotions with greater ease

  Reconnect to the values that give your life and work meaning

The Self-Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities program meets for 6 sessions of 60 minutes either online or at your facility. 

There is flexibility to customize session length for your facility needs.

  A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day.

A string of such moments can change the course of your life. 

Chris Germer, PhD

Needs Assessment Summary for Self-Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities

Burnout, including secondary traumatic stress and emotional exhaustion, is prevalent among health care professionals and is a factor contributing to turnover (Cocker & Joss, 2016; West, Dyrbye, & Shanafelt, 2018). “Chronic stress associated with emotionally intense work demands for which resources are inadequate can result in burnout,” write West, Dyrbye, & Shanafelt (2018). The purpose of the 6-week Self-Compassion Training for Healthcare Communities is to teach healthcare workers on the job skills to meet the emotional demands of their work. Mindfulness and self-compassion practices for healthcare are intended to lower the chance that professionals will end their shifts emotionally depleted and increase their likelihood of feeling accomplished and satisfied in their caregiving roles. 

Two studies we conducted on Dell Children’s Medical Center staff who attended the 6-week training showed participants significantly increased in self-compassion, mindfulness, compassion to others, compassion satisfaction, and feelings of personal accomplishment, and significantly decreased in levels of stress, depression and measures of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and secondary traumatic stress). Other peer-reviewed literature has found self-compassion training to reduce symptoms of burnout and increase self-compassion, mindfulness, and compassion satisfaction (Delaney, M.C., 2018; Eriksson et al., 2018).  

References

Cocker, F., & Joss, N. (2016). Compassion fatigue among healthcare, emergency and community service workers: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(6), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13060618

Delaney, M. C. (2018). Caring for the caregivers: Evaluation of the effect of an eight-week pilot mindful self-compassion (MSC) training program on nurses’ compassion fatigue and resilience. PLoS ONE, 13(11), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207261

Eriksson, T., Germundsjö, L., Åström, E., & Rönnlund, M. (2018). Mindful self-compassion training reduces stress and burnout symptoms among practicing psychologists: A randomized controlled trial of a brief web-based intervention. Frontiers in Psychology, 9(NOV), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02340

West, C. P., Dyrbye, L. N., & Shanafelt, T. D. (2018). Physician burnout: contributors, consequences and solutions. Journal of Internal Medicine, 283(6), 516–529. https://doi.org/10.1111/joim.12752