Self-Care in the Helping Professions

Self-Care in the Helping Professions

An Embodied Gestalt Approach

Friday 19th – Saturday 20th November 2021, 9.30am – 5.00 pm

‘Working with survivors of complex trauma can be extremely challenging and demanding. Practitioners need to be mindful that repeated exposure to trauma narratives can lead to vicarious traumatisation or secondary traumatic stress. It is essential that practitioners understand the impact of working with complex trauma and professional self-care’

Christiane Sanderson – ‘Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma’

‘People in the helping profession are aware that the better they take care of themselves the more they will be able to be truly empathic, compassionate, and helpful to those they work with and care for. This has been particularly evident over the last 18 months given our experience of the Covid – 19 pandemic and its impact on us personally and professionally which has been immense and has placed Health and Social Care Professionals and Practitioners working on the frontline in the most demanding and challenging situations.

Working with persons affected by the trauma of COVID19 often requires the caring professional to dig deep into their own personal inner resources, and professional carers need to be mindful that repeated exposure to such trauma may lead to secondary traumatic stress and to a depletion of their own inner resources. It is essential that the professional carer understands the key importance of professional self-care’

In this workshop you will be invited into the reflective space of deeper self-awareness and exploration, to identify your self-experience of the COVID19 Pandemic with the goal of gaining more self-understanding and self-compassion and ultimately to enhance your ability for self-care both personally and professionally.

Participants will have the opportunity to

  1. Reflect on the impact of stress on your personal and professional life including the impact of Covid – 19 related trauma
  2. Practice nonjudgmental self-awareness and compassionate self-care in a supportive group setting.
  3. Identify your own self care needs and practice self-care strategies.

The Embodied/Gestalt Approach

The approach will be based on an embodied gestalt approach working with the whole self, not simply the contents of thoughts and beliefs. In this approach the body is valued for its integrative potential; seen as the seat of inherent wisdom and authenticity. The workshop will be experiential and participative and small and large group exercises. It is designed for Front line Health and Social Care Professionals including those working in hospitals, educational and community and voluntary sector settings.

Facilitators – Mary J Egan and Sandra Mullen


Mary is an accredited Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapist, Body Psychotherapist and CORU Registered Social Worker. She has been working in private practice as a Psychotherapist in the Dublin Gestalt Centre since 2006. Mary also has extensive experience of working in the areas of childcare, protection and welfare, team management, team development, workplace learning and development and staff care and support. She has a particular interest in working with trauma, the impact of trauma on the professional carer/practitioner and the professional carer/practitioner experience of vicarious traumatisation, compassion fatigue and burnout.  Mary is currently in ongoing experiential intergenerational family trauma training with Dr Vivian Broughton (The Centre for Healthy Autonomy UK)  In her work Mary seeks to create a safe, reflective and relational space and as a Body Psychotherapist she pays particular attention as to how trauma is held in the body. It is her belief that we each hold our own key to building our resilience in the face of carer/practitioner trauma and she is privileged to have the opportunity to accompany the individual and the group in encountering their own personal resources for resilience.

Sandra Mullen- M.Eq, Dip Gestalt Psychotherapy, Dip Life Coaching, Dip Addiction Studies MIAHIP, MICP, MIACP

Sandra is an accredited Gestalt Psychotherapist working in private practice in the Dublin Gestalt Centre. She completed her training at the Gestalt Institute of Ireland, has a Masters in Equality Studies and has just completed a two – year Diploma in Relational Gestalt Supervision. Sandra works from a humanistic and integrative approach supporting people with a range of psychological and emotional issues and has a deep belief in each person’s potential for growth and their capacity to respond to change and find meaning and direction in their lives.

Sandra is also a facilitator, trainer and organisational consultant and has over 25 years’ experience working in the community/voluntary sectors delivering educational programmes, developing services, and building successful organisations. She also has extensive experience of providing support and supervision to practitioners in recognising and addressing the impact of trauma and burnout, in particular those who work with individuals and families who are affected by poverty and inequality.

Self-Care in the Helping Professions

  • Date: Friday 19th – Saturday 20th November 2021, 9.30am – 5.00 pm
  • Max number of participants: 8
  • Venue: Dublin Gestalt Centre, 66 Lr Leeson Street, Dublin 2.
  • Cost: Costs €180 per person including tea and coffees.

If you wish to book a place, please download the application form or email if you need further information. Please contact Sandra Mullen at 086 4171912 or Mary J Egan 087-9772316 and

Workshop will be facilitated in line with HSE COVID 19 Protocols

Early booking is advisable as places are limited.

Tea and coffee will be provided

Certificate of attendance will be provided CPD Hours 13.