Hi. My name is Audrey Batterham. I am a burnout expert, counsellor, and facilitator. For over a decade, I mentored young people into helping fields, training them to do peer support work in harm reduction. I also have taught psycho-educational workshops to women who have experienced violence. None of the self-care or self-empowerment strategies that I taught were enough to prevent my own burnout. However, after I burned out, I encountered some truly promising practices for maintaining wellbeing as carers. I have packaged these practices into workshops and resources for students and workers.
I offer my services to
Professors who are teaching courses that prepare students to do helping work (social work, community support work, nursing, social service work, personal support work, etc.).
Staff teams in helping fields and social change organizations.
Groups of folks wanting to work on self-empowerment and self-compassion related to their workplace stress.
I am passionate about preparing students in helping fields for jobs in which they will likely experience both primary and secondary trauma as well as chronic stress. I have found that workshops on “stress management” or “self-care” don’t do enough to prepare students to manage their thoughts, feelings, and boundaries. The care we take with our thoughts, feelings, and boundaries can prevent stressful or traumatic events from becoming chronic stress disorder and/or PTSD.
Burnout Intervention and Recovery
In high-stress workplaces, burnout can happen fast. In these cases, profound changes need to be made at the organizational level. Otherwise, no matter what people do to protect themselves and to recover from stress, they will continue to be re-injured. So when I teach about intervening and recovering, I talk about organizational change and self-advocacy as well. I also offering protective and healing strategies that you will wish someone had told you a long time ago.
Please see below for workshop descriptions and testimonials. I hope to hear from you soon.
This workshop centers Laura van Dernoot Lipsky’s work on “trauma stewardship,” who proposes five “directions” for taking care of ourselves as we witness trauma. I incorporate coaching tools drawing from cognitive psychology, lessons from Deb Dana and others on trauma and polyvagal theory, Dr. David Rock’s work on leadership and worker stress response, Emily and Amelia Nagoskis’ work in Burnout, and Vikki Reynold’s work on “justice-doing.” This workshop is offered in an online or in-person format, using a slide presentation, breakout groups and skills practice.
SELF-COMPASSION and THOUGHTWORK for CARE WORKERS
This workshop takes a “coaching” approach to improving emotional regulation skills, and is designed for people who provide caring services (social workers, nurses, etc.). The workshop recognizes that we work in stressful contexts, that our feelings about the challenges in the work are normal, and that systemic change is needed. However, as individuals, we have control over our thoughts, feelings, and actions, and can use that power to reduce the stress response in our bodies. I share promising strategies.
Self and Collaborative Care for New Workers and their Mentors, a workshop that presents ideas for ending burnout cycles and fostering an environment of care in caring workplaces.
The Stress Response helps participants understand what is happening in our nervous systems when we experience acute, chronic and traumatic stress. Audrey teaches groups to nourish and expand awareness of our nervous systems.
Feelings are Superpowers: This workshop reframes how we think about feelings, and provides some concrete tools for regulating emotions, sitting with feelings, and expanding self-compassion.
Communication and Boundaries: This workshop offers thoughtwork tools for managing “saviour” and “people-pleasing” tendencies in helping work. I also offer concrete examples of how to set boundaries and create space for skills practice.
Anti-oppressive Communication Skills at Work
This workshop brings attention to dynamics of power and privilege in relation to workplace hierarchy, gender, race and other intersections. I offer communication strategies for having difficult conversations at work, working across difference, giving and receiving feedback, self-advocating, and addressing oppression. It includes opportunity for self-reflection and skills practice.
Feedback from my burnout prevention workshops “I am so glad that [our manager] found you. It’s like you’re reading my mind and saying things I couldn’t find words for.” “Thank you – so relevant, so on point for many!” “I really resonated with what you said about not setting boundaries because of feeling guilty about privilege. I started thinking about some of the things I do. It’s helpful.” "Audrey's workshops were truly an amazing and informative experience! After delving deep with each topic of conversation, this allowed me to process my emotions with every situation I had previously dealt with. The workshops also gave me a better understanding of moving forward with a clearer mindset and focus on doing the best work I can do, without burning out while still nourishing my soul." Feedback from burnout intervention reader/client: "I just wanted you to know that reading one of your articles set me on a path of self-reflection that has now given me the language I was missing. I have read and will continue to read every article that you write. . . The work you're doing is the answer in so many ways."