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Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Effective Self-Care: Ethical Practices for Ensuring Professional Longevity and Avoiding Burnout

Effective Self-Care: Ethical Practices for Ensuring Professional Longevity and Avoiding Burnout

Friday, May 14, 2021

Live Webinar

8:30am – 4:00pm


Presented by

Sonja A. Sutherland, Ph.D. LPC, NCC, CPCS, DCC

Dr. Sutherland is an Associate Professor of Counseling and Dean of Assessment, Planning & Accreditation at Richmont Graduate University in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and an NBCC Approved Counselor Supervisor (ACS). In the field of counseling since 1998, and licensed since 2001, Dr. Sutherland has provided therapeutic services in the private practice, psychiatric residential, in-home, and outpatient mental health settings, for adolescents and adults, through individual, group, couples, and family therapy. Dr. Sutherland’s areas of research interest include counselor supervision & cultural competence development, and evidence-based treatment & residential models of care for at-risk adolescents.

Course Description:

Compassion fatigue refers to stress that is a byproduct of providing care for those who are traumatized or under significant emotional duress. Because as clinicians we are trained to utilize compassion and empathy in order for our work with clients and supervisees to be effective, we are particularly vulnerable to emotional stress and compassion fatigue. Related to this, for those of us in the helping professions, compassion fatigue can have ethical and legal implications if unaddressed, especially if we are providing therapeutic services that are ineffective for those under our clinical care and supervision. Most clinicians learn very quickly however, that impairment, and in extreme cases burnout, can sneak up on us before we even realize. During this workshop, participants will be encouraged to engage in an honest assessment of both their current areas of impairment as well as their current self-care status. Participants will enjoy engaging in interactive self-care activities that can lay a foundation for the building of motivation and a commitment to wellness. The ACA, APA, MFT and NASW Codes of Ethics related to professional impairment will be reviewed, along with practical examples of how unrecognized impairment can impede clinical and supervisory effectiveness. Finally, clinicians will begin the creation of a personalized self-care plan, and demonstrate how to facilitate one for others.

Course Objectives: As a result of attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify factors in practitioner vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue and burnout
  2. Discuss impact of vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue and burnout on professional impairment
  3. Identify Codes of Ethics related to practitioner professional impairment
  4. Assess practitioner levels of compassion fatigue
  5. Assess factors in wellness preparation and self-care
  6. Develop a personal stress management program

Target audience: Clinical Mental Health Counselors, Psychologists, Marriage & Family Therapists, Social Workers, Graduate Students

Instruction Level: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced

Basic Schedule:


8:30am – 10:00am

Understanding and identifying practitioner trauma, compassion fatigue and burnout
10:00am – 10:15am Break
10:15am – 11:45pm
Ethics related to professional impairment
11:45pm – 12:45pm Lunch
12:45pm – 2:15pm Assessing Compassion Fatigue & Factors in wellness preparation
2:15 – 2:30pm Break
2:30pm – 4:00pm Application: Developing a personal stress management program

Continuing Education: 6 Ethics CEs Awarded.


  • $135: Richmont Alumni, Faculty, & Staff
  • $95: Richmont Students
  • $159: Guests


For questions, please contact Martha Busby at
Refunds: In order to receive a full refund, requests must be made prior to  May 7.

There is no known commercial support for this workshop.

Richmont Graduate University has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 4534. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identifited. RGU is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.  

Richmont Graduate University is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Richmont Graduate University maintains responsibility for this program and its content.