Episode 162 - Ellen Fink-Samnick: Fostering Professional Resilience: The Professional Resilience Paradigm

Monday, March 02, 2015, 9:37:28 AM

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In this episode, Ellen Fink-Samnick describes the core components, building blocks, and practical strategies associated with the Professional Resilience Paradigm. This framework provides an operationalized context and a specific set of behaviors that foster professional and personal growth as well as resilience for health and human services professionals.

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Average Rating: 4.5 stars (2 listener reviews )

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Average Rating: 5stars  caring for your self benefits others , Sunday, February 07, 2016

By Michael Guerin :

Upon listening to this podcast, I feel validated with the feelings that I encounter on a daily basis working in the field of human services. This podcast was personable, and relatable to anyone feeling burnout from their job as a helping professional. Ellen defines the many facets of our everyday lives as “occupational hazards”. Life can get busy, and she recognizes how this can impact the way we not only deliver services in our occupation, but conceptualize the role that we are in. The idea of a resilient workforce emphasizes self-care. However, this is only the beginning. We need to also emphasize our inner spiritual strength, as well as the value of our job. This resonated with me immensely. Quite often I have felt as the underdog in an array of social work professions I have held in comparison to other members of my team including doctors, nurses, and physical therapists. It is essential to remember that the role you play (regardless of title) can impact the individuals served profoundly and this is important to let others know (on a professional basis). As a social worker, I have felt undermined by other co-workers with different job titles partially because I did not recognize the importance of my role. Additionally, Ellen makes note of the fact that we should separate our individual self from our professional self. This means that we should set time aside to enjoy activities that are separate from our career. This podcast was also helpful in making me realize that it is ok to take a break during the day even though we may not feel like it is important. Ironically, it seems as though putting ourselves first physically, emotionally, and mentally makes us stronger and more resilient in our professional roles. Needless to say, self-advocacy benefits not only an individual, but those they encounter on a daily basis.

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Average Rating: 4stars  building personal and professional resilience., Saturday, January 30, 2016

By Anonymous :

I found the talk empowering. One of the building blocks is self-advocacy, and I can see how that could really work at a personal and organizational level. I intern with a volunteer child advocacy organization. I am realizing it is incumbent upon us to calm these perilous waters of power differential within the court system . Self-advocacy, for us, could be letting others know of the immense dedication of our volunteers, and allowing their diverse and highly valuable backgrounds be known as well. I have also been considering adding some time to our training sessions for self-care. I think bonding with others in our agency is important.

Ms. Fink-Samnick speaks of setting limits for ourselves as professionals, and I think they should discuss their limits as volunteers as well. Another building block she offers is developing a response strategy to stressful situations. Maybe our volunteers should have other volunteers they can call when they feel stressed about a case. I know that when I feel exhausted and frustrated, supportive sharing is always helpful. I think that such sharing always calms me, and allows me to turn off the “professional switch”. Other suggestions made were daily exercise, and positive interactions. I usually walk during my lunch hour, and try to spend some time outside of my office talking to the court clerks, or doing the office dishes. It is always nice to have people, and activities to focus on that are completely benign during the workday. My supervisor often comments on my sterile, impersonal office as I have added few personal affects to the place, Fink-Samnick points out that we need little, sweet experiences or reminders in our day., like a sweet smell in our office. I feel that these are great ideas that can be expanded upon and adapted to most situations, professional or otherwise. I only wish that the podcast had gone more in-depth on some of the trickier aspects of social work self-care, and workplace dysfunction.

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