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The Helper’s Journey: Empathy, Compassion, and the Challenge of Caring in a Challenging Time

About this Event

Live webinar

Working with people confronting grief, loss, trauma, illness and tragedy in all its forms is an intensely personal endeavor, bringing us into contact with the deepest parts of ourselves, and exposing us to the well-documented risks of burnout, moral distress, and compassion fatigue. This applies to all helpers within the TAPS community—professional clinicians, volunteers, and family caregivers as well. The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic are elevating these risks, making even greater attention to care for the caregiver essential. Fortunately, a growing body of research and clinical wisdom now also tells us we can exert significant control over stress and its effects on us, and that we can often even wrest personal and professional growth from it. These positive outcomes are linked to an array of coping strategies and skills for strengthening emotional resilience, optimizing self-care, and increasing clinical effectiveness emerging from the fields of positive psychology, neurobiology, and psychotherapy.

In this workshop we will explore some of these key strategies and skills, including balanced empathy, mindfulness, cognitive-affective stress management techniques, self-compassion, strengthened social support, and a deepened sense of purpose and mission in the work. With these building blocks of resilience in place, we can counter exhaustion with vigor, moral distress with moral courage, and our suffering as helpers with its restorative meaning; we can transform and transcend stress, fulfill our purpose in the work, and live a life aligned with cherished values. This program and learning is meant to provide an opportunity to reflect on how you can find balance on the helping journey—balance between the demands you face and the resources you have to meet them, between giving to others and giving to yourself.


Dale Larson, PhD, Professor, Department of Counseling Psychology, Santa Clara University

Continuing Education Information

Continuing education credit (1.5 hours) is available from a variety of professional boards for $25 per certificate. Instructions for obtaining CE credit will be provided at the end of the program.

Learning Objectives:

  1. List the key features and causes of burnout, compassion fatigue and moral distress and self-assess on these dimensions
  2. Identify strategies for strengthening resilience and stress-related personal and professional growth
  3. Identify the added challenges the COVID pandemic presents for coping with and transcending the stress of caregiving.

Click here to view the full program information sheet, including board approvals list.


Dale G. Larson, PhD, (BA, University of Chicago; PhD, U.C. Berkeley), is Professor of Counseling Psychology at Santa Clara University, where he directs graduate studies in Health Psychology. A clinician and researcher, he is a Fulbright Scholar, a Fellow in the American Psychological Association, and member of the International Work Group on Death Dying and Bereavement. His recent book, The Helper's Journey: Empathy, Compassion, and the Challenge of Caring, received a Book of the Year award in the hospice and palliative care category from the American Journal of Nursing. He was Senior Editor and a contributing author for Finding Our Way: Living with Dying in America, the Robert Wood Johnson funded national newspaper series that reached 7 million Americans. His scholarly publications on grief and loss, grief counseling, stress and stress management in health professionals, and self-concealment and secrets are widely cited, both in the scientific literature and in the popular media. Dr. Larson is a frequent keynote speaker at national and international conferences and received the Association for Death Education and Counseling Death Educator Award in 2016, and was honored as honored as an Innovator of Hospice and Palliative Care by the National Hospice Foundation in 2018.

How do I view the webinar?

Viewing instructions will be included in your confirmation email and emailed to you several times in the days leading up to the webinar.

How can I contact the organizer with questions?

Email or call 800-959-8277.

Presented by Boeing

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