Bad Things Aren’t Supposed to Happen to Therapists (but they do): (Intermediate: Clinical, Self-Care, Resilience)

As therapists, we have the unique honor of being allowed into our patients’ lives.  We get to join with them as they grow and heal.  We have a special ability to hold space with them while they share and explore intimate details of their lives--some beautiful, some tragic.  Because of our role, the world often doesn’t see the difficulties therapists experience in their professional and personal lives.  Vicarious trauma, isolation, paperwork…just to name a few.   Because of our caring nature, difficulties in our professional lives also lead to increased shame.  Therapists need to be proactive and prepare for the unfortunate and inevitable patient scenarios: overdosing, going to prison, completing suicide.  Therapists also need to prepare for the unfortunate and inevitable scenarios in our own lives:  illnesses, family and relationship issues, deaths of loved ones.  Skills to help us prepare for the bad while remaining optimistic can lead to more positive impact on our clinical work and our personal satisfaction.  Join us as we explore what happens when bad things happen to therapists, the impact it has on our work, and how we can do better.

Training Objectives:

  • Participants will learn five common tragedies that clients deal with that impact therapists
  • Participants will learn six tasks to process tragedy
  • Participants will develop at least three resiliency skills to deal with vicarious trauma
  • Participants will identify at least two ways clinical work can be negatively impacted by common tragedies and/or losses
  • Participants will identify at least two ways clinical work can be positively impacted by common tragedies and/or losses



Jill Perry
Jill Perry, MS, NCC, LPC, CAADC, SAP

Jill Perry is doing her part to make the world a better place.  As a therapist with over 25 years of experience, she specializes in dealing with substance use and recovery, as well as trauma.  She is a Nationally Certified Counselor, Certified Advanced Drug & Alcohol Counselor and a Substance Abuse Professional.  In addition, she is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a technique used to help people process trauma and get relief from physical and emotional symptoms.  Ms. Perry owns and operates JP Counseling & Associates, LLC, in Beaver, PA where the staff have expertise in substance use and recovery, trauma and grief.  In addition, Ms. Perry teaches in the Graduate Counseling Department at Geneva College and assists with grants in the community.  Ms. Perry is an enthusiastic trainer and public speaker and teaches and motivates professionals and the community.  She is a Distinguished Toastmaster, the highest achievement in Toastmasters International, a public speaking and leadership organization.  When she is not working and helping others, Jill enjoys time with her family, including her young adult “kids”, as well as writing.  She invites you to continue your work to “save the world.”