Our Half: Surviving and Thriving in the Helping Professions is a strengths-based workshop for helping professionals to explore and reflect on what is happening on our side of the helping relationship, and to enhance our capacity to provide sustainable, effective, and meaningful support to others.
Being in a helping profession is more of a vocation than a job. We care about the work and the people we meet. Working with people going through tough times can be challenging, inspiring, heartbreaking. The work changes us, for the better and for the worse. This workshop offers a chance to connect with others to examine why we do the work, how it affects us and how we can thrive.
Why focus on the helping professional rather than the clients?
‘Evidence-based practice’ is typically used to describe specific treatments and procedures. In contrast, we now have several decades of research to show that the qualities of therapeutic relationship and the helping professional have a profound impact on client outcomes, often far more than the specific interventions we use.Who delivers the treatment and how is as important, or more, than the specific treatment being provided.
And yet much of our professional development centres on specific presentations and treatments. If we look at the clinician, we tend to focus on the problems – vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, burn out. While these are important themes to address, there is so much more to our relationship with the work than that. Clients receive the best care when their helping professionals are able to be at their best.
Our Half is a two-day opportunity to take a step back from the day-to-day work and reflect on our experience – the good, the bad and the constantly evolving. The workshop will be highly interactive using experiential and creative practice to connect with where we are in relation to the work and where we want to go next. The aim is first and foremost to have a space to reflect. It’s about coming together to discover good questions as much as finding answers. The process will also build towards developing a personalised resource to sustain and flourish within our work.
Who should attend?
Anyone whose work is about helping, supporting, caring or advocating for others in need. Counsellors, allied health, medical, community support, corrections workers, activists – if you turn up to try to make a positive difference, this workshop could be for you. The workshop is suitable for early, mid and late career professionals who interested to investigate their current relationship with the work and explore what they would like to put their energy towards next.
Come and explore, be challenged and laugh with like-minded colleagues, as we examine our own relationship with this complex role of trying to support our fellow humans through life’s roller coaster.
The workshop will be held on the lower level of the Van Raay Centre at Ceres Environment Park in Room 1 (Rooms 2-4 combined). Registration opens at 9:00 for a 9.30 start.
Registration includes morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea, as well as GST. Please register only if you able to attend both days. Free parking is available onsite on in nearby streets if the carpark is full. We recommend arriving by 9.00 to ensure parking. The venue is also close to the 96 tram on Nicholson St.
Mentha Consulting is committed to supporting positive community initiatives. Venue and catering fees support the work of the Ceres Environmental Park. For more information on Ceres go to www.ceres.org.au.
All registrations include a non refundable fee of $100 up to 7 days of the workshop commencement. Workshop registrations are not refundable within 7 days of the workshop commencement.
Helen Mentha (Australia)
From an early age I knew I wanted to be in the helping professions. Of all things I could invest my time in, it seemed genuinely meaningful and infinitely fascinating. More than 20 years as a clinical psychologist have been challenging, rewarding, and at times downright confusing. I’ve grown immensely as a human, burnt out, wrestled with my profession and had recurring dreams of running away to open a cattery.
And yet I stay. I still couldn’t think of a better way to spend my working hours. I remember my initial hunger to learn and learn more. What do I need to do? What do I need to know? Over time, my questions have changed.
One of the reasons I connected with Motivational Interviewing (MI) was that it provided a foundation for the work that embraced both the relationship and the technical skills being used as inseparable. It aligned with my core values and lead to better, richer conversations. I loved that it offered guidance, not rules. Skills not scripts. That the answers lay in curiosity not expertise. And it provided a very kind and gentle way to reflect on my own processes, biases and intentions.
My own personal experiences, and those of the many people who have attended workshops with me, have reinforced the awareness that we need safe, friendly spaces to reflect on the work and its impact on ourselves as people. This workshop is an opportunity to offer just that. As well as a providing professional workshops and supervision, I also have a small private practice in Melbourne offering therapy and coaching with a focus on supporting our helping professionals.
Majella Greene (UK)
Sometimes I wonder what brought me to where I am at, perhaps you do too? I love to work with people who are open, curious and willing to be vulnerable. I enjoy a full range of human emotions (perhaps some that are yet to be discovered). I am curious about self-fulfillment,resilience, and those difficult experiences that enable us to grow and change.
Relationships are central to my way of being. I wholeheartedly embrace connection, kindness and being present to others whilst maintaining a core sense of self with boundaries. Understanding ‘our half’ enables us to provide optimal conditions for clients and ourselves to flourish. Working together we achieve more, we propagate ideas, and sow seeds that on our own we would never have come up with. Let’s explore what this means and how we can create conditions for our optimal well-being.
I am a UK-based registered social worker, living in one of the most diverse boroughs in London with two cats, Cecilie and Leonard, and am caretaker of two hives of bees. I have a Masters in both Applied Positive Psychology and Social Work Policy and Research, and am committed to promoting social justice, inclusiveness and anti-oppressive practice.
I value the role of community-lead interventions, and the importance of bringing creativity and joy to what we do. I work with individuals, communities and organisations to increase well-being, actively promoting a ‘Best Possible Self’ agenda.