W03 - Fostering Resilience for Mental Health Professionals: A Mindfulness-Based Approach
Friday, 23 October
11:15 – 12:45 (1.5 hrs)
Andrea Grabovac*, MD, FRCPC; Mark Lau, PhD
At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1) Recognize the signs, symptoms, and triggers of physician burnout; 2) Employ informal and formal mindfulness-meditation practices to detect and mitigate physician burnout; and 3) Create a personalized physician-burnout prevention plan.
Learn evidence-based skills to foster resilience and reduce the risk of burnout through this interactive learning experience. We combine experiential exercises and didactic instruction to explore how core tasks from mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can help prevent physician burnout. Burnout is a normal response to working in a system where the demands on our internal reserves outstrip our ability to replenish those reserves. A key step in creating meaningful, effective systemic change is to shift our habitual reactions to daily stressors and burnout triggers.
MBCT integrates mindfulness techniques with cognitive therapy to facilitate detection of conditioned patterns of mind, mood, and behaviour that can contribute to burnout. Briefly, mindfulness practice supports us in developing a profound understanding about how we habitually relate to difficult experiences and gives us more choice on how we can respond. We also explore new ways of relating to cycles of thoughts, emotions, and behaviours that can otherwise spiral into burnout by cultivating an open and receptive mode of awareness, in which we intentionally face our direct experience, thereby strengthening an orientation to the present moment. The result is a more kind-hearted self-observation and a softening of self-judgement.
Recognizing early signs of burnout allows them to be “nipped in the bud” at a stage when it may be much easier to take effective action than if such warning signs are noticed only when they have become more severe or are ignored. Development of specific burnout prevention strategies is emphasized.
Williams MG, Teasdale JD, Segal Z. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression. 2nd ed. New York (NY): The Guilford Press; 2018.
Joyce S, Shand F, Tighe J, et al. Road to resilience: a systematic review and meta-analysis of resilience training programmes and interventions. BMJ Open 2018;8:e017858.