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End-of-Life Practitioner Program
Mindful & Compassionate Service
Wednesday April 9-13, 2014
Santa Sabina Center, San Rafael, CA
This course offers an approach to care that is mindfulness-based, compassion-focused and relationship-centered. We utilize a range of learning modalities to address both personal and professional development, emphasizing experiential learning and pragmatic application.
Why This Course?
Healthcare professionals and others dedicated to end-of-life care face increasing institutional constraints, an urgency to work harder and faster, and a reduction in critical resources. These stressors can contribute to self-neglect, distancing from patients and a disconnection from their motivating intention to serve.
The ongoing exposure to intense suffering, multiple deaths, the potential for secondary trauma, and emotional exhaustion can dramatically impact the clinician's personal well-being and their ability to offer patients the best care possible.
This course points to a healthy, renewing and sustainable way for clinicians to work in the current environment. This results in greater competency, meaningful caregiver-patient relationships, and beneficial connections with peers, and leads to a workplace experience that is invigorating, rather than depleting.
"I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I woke and found that life was service.
I acted and behold service was joy."
In this foundational course we define and explore the mutually beneficial nature of Mindful & Compassionate Service, and how to embody it in your day-to-day work relationships with patients and colleagues. The course is organized around the development of three key elements: self-awareness, compassion, and skillful action.
Clinicians will develop the capacity for self-awareness and learn to see through the mind's conditioning and habitual responses, in order to identify the obstacles to intentional service. Using mindfulness practices, death awareness exercises, reflective writing and other tracking skills, clinicians learn to reduce stress, reactivity, anxiety and personal distress. The benefits of self-awareness include a greater sense of self-responsibility, an ability to concentrate on tasks, emotional resilience, self-knowledge and an integrated sense of well-being.
Play Sample Audio Clip:
Rachel Naomi Remen, MD A Calling of Service (4:28)
Faculty member Rachel Naomi Remen MD., NY Times Best Selling Author, Kitchen Table Wisdom, and My Grandfather's Blessing, Founder Healers Art program
We will share systematic contemplative practices for cultivating compassion, pro-social behaviors and positive regard for self and other. These practices foster an empathetic engagement with patients that is present-time oriented, well-boundaried and sensitively attuned. These capacities enable clinicians to profoundly care and companion those they serve, without becoming overwhelmed. Clinicians will learn wellness strategies and practices for pragmatic self-care that reduce burnout and compassion fatigue, and encourage a commitment to physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and relational balance.
In order to meet the needs of patients and their families, we combine self-awareness and compassion with the skillful action necessary to serve others effectively with gratitude and commitment. We learn to listen deeply, communicate clearly, provide care that is relationship-centered, and to work collaboratively with colleagues, even under stressful circumstances. We offer a path of action in which work becomes a training ground, and service is a way to develop the mind, open the heart and express our innate generosity.
This course introduces tools, practices and skills to develop self-awareness, compassion, and skillful action. Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to:
Increase the capacity to remain present for suffering
Develop a stronger "observing self" through focused, stable attention
Acquire greater mind-body awareness and intuitive wisdom
Nurture empathetic concern and impartial altruism
Learn to differentiate between self and other, without merging or distancing
Foster positivity, and manage stress and anxiety
Cultivate the balancing factors of equanimity, joy, compassion, and love
Use the "Five Precepts of Service" in day-to-day work
Listen on three levels - body, heart and mind
Learn preventative practices that catalyze improved overall health
Develop work/life balance, self-care strategies, and support systems
Address institutional barriers to mindful and compassionate care
Register now for this 5-day program and leave with a stronger connection to yourself, a deeper level of healthy compassion for your patients, and an understanding of how to provide compassionate service.
Who should attend:
The course is primarily aimed at healthcare professionals. Participants include physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, psychotherapists, counselors, chaplains, social workers, physical therapists, massage therapists, experienced hospice volunteers and others in the healing professions.
We encourage participants to attend in groups to support the implementation of the course content in their respective settings. Groups of three or more participants from the same institution or organization receive a discount.