Resilience Program

for Professionals

The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet.

Rachel Naomi Remen, MD


Every day, our community’s helping professionals face tremendous challenges related to compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and burnout. Too often helping professionals suffer in silence as they navigate the landscape of mental, emotional, and physical stress. These challenges take a deep toll on work life, family life, and overall health, with the emergence of Covid-19 in these past years intensifying stressors even further. Compassion fatigue affects people who work in fields such as medicine, law enforcement, counseling, social services, education, animal welfare, and environmental conservation.  

In 2017, in response to this need, we created a collaborative partnership with other agencies and mental health professionals here in Mesa County who are also dedicated to the critical goal of supporting the well-being of caregiving professionals in our community. This course has been offered since 2018, providing tools and support to more than 100 professionals in the Grand Valley.  

Information about the 2022 Annual Resilience Program for Professionals:

NOTE: Our current Resilience course is full and in progress. If you’d like to be on the list for the January ’23 class, please reach out to sydney@sydneyelks.com – thanks for your interest!

What is the Resilience Program for Professionals?

  • Nine, 3-1/2 hour classes occurring every other Thursday from July 28-November 17, 2022
  • Facilitated by a Licensed Professional Counselor, Sydney Elks, and assisted by Karin Lee Hughes, MD.
  • Combination of didactic and experiential activities based on current research.
  • Whole group, small group, and individual exploration.
  • Provides participants with a practical understanding of the neurobiology of stress.
  • Offers evidence-based tools to increase self-awareness, as well as mitigate and prevent negative effects of stress.
  • Participants learn and practice skills to foster responsiveness (vs. reactivity) in the face of stressors.
  • Develop strategies to address compassion fatigue and increase work satisfaction.
  • Promotes long-term lifestyle changes to allow for emotional regulation, improved relationships, and a deeper sense of well-being. 
  • Suitable for anyone in the community who is in a helping profession. Past participants have included individuals in the medical field, education, law enforcement, animal welfare, environmental conservation, social services, faith communities, mental health professionals, and more.
  • Breaks and light snacks are provided.
  • Only $75 for the course, workbook & handouts.
  • The program is limited to 15 participants.

The facilitators and creators of this program understand that such changes occur incrementally, over time, and they developed the program to reflect this understanding. Each class builds on the one previous, culminating in the creation of a personal resilience plan in the final class.

Resilience is not a “quick fix,” and this course is not group therapy, nor is it a means to address organizational dysfunction. The course DOES encourage participants to know themselves better, shift perceptions regarding their stress, and feel empowered to affect lasting change and bring balance into their own lives.

From a 2021 participant:

The structure of the course was super smart, in that simple concepts could be personalized and given the time needed to be practiced and reflected on. This was one of the most useful and meaningful courses that I have taken.