Caring for the Professional Caregiver

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Event: Caring for the Professional Caregiver

Date: 6/26/19

Time: 8:30 – 10:30 am

Where: Penn Foundation – Loux Center (Univest Community Room)

Cost: Free


About the Course

This class includes viewing the award winning and evocative documentary film, by Philadelphia filmmaker Vic Compher, entitled Portraits of Professional Caregivers.  Their Passion.  Their Pain.  Through poignant personal stories, the film makers explore the impact of secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue experienced by professional caregivers.  Featuring Sandra Bloom, MD., the film describes the signs and symptoms of secondary traumatic stress, its impact on professional caregivers, and urges organizations and individuals to embark on a journey of organizational, professional and personal self-care.  The film is based on interviews with nurses, social workers, clinical psychologists, doctors, and fire fighters – first responders who rescue, assist, and help to heal the injured and traumatized.  The film asks the question:  Who helps our helpers?  A post film dialogue will offer participants the opportunity to reflect on the film’s themes.  Participants should be prepared to be moved by the film, and prepared to offer self/peer-empathy as described in Penn Foundation’s Compassionate Communication initiative.

Course Objectives

  1. Participants will be able to identify the symptoms of secondary traumatic stress as a result of absorbing the pain and grief of others
  2. Participants will be able to describe the manifestations of secondary traumatic stress when loss and trauma occur in the workplace
  3. Participants will be able to list ways organizations can respond to the secondary trauma, describe the importance of peer support, and become familiar with preventative self-care strategies

Target Audience

Target Audience includes social workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, recovery coaches, peer specialists, nurses, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, and substance abuse counselors for this intermediate level of instruction.


  • 2.0 PCB Approved Education Credits
  • 2.0 Continuing Education Credits for Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Professional Counselors, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists
  • 2.0 Continuing Education Credits for Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)


There is no conflict of interest or commercial support for this program.


All attendees must arrive promptly at the beginning of the training and remain the duration of the training to receive continuing education credits.  Please have license number available when signing in.


Persons with disabilities and special needs are encouraged to contact the registrar for further information.


About the Presenters

The film is the primary vehicle through which learning objectives will be achieved.  Introduction and post film dialogue will be facilitated by Penn Foundation staff:  Deb Ryan, Director of Community Outreach; Lu Mauro, M.Ed., CPRP, Associate Director of MH Rehabilitation Services; post film dialog will be facilitated by Karen Williamson, LPC, Director of Employee Assistance Program; and Bonnie Steich, MA, LPC.

Karen Williamson, LPC has nearly 30 years of experience in the behavioral healthcare field.  She joined Penn Foundation in 1990 as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselor after receiving her MS in Pastoral Counseling from Neumann College.  Karen currently serves as Director of EAP, which contracts with more than 75 companies to provide counseling and other services for their employees.  As EAP Director, a role she assumed in 2008, Karen provides counseling to individuals and couples, conducts trainings, provides HR/supervisor consultations, mediates employee conflicts, and performs critical incident stress debriefings.  Karen has been a co-facilitator of a chaplains peer support group for over 10 years.  She is an alumnus of the Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Community Leadership Institute.

Bonnie Steich, MA, LPC, ACS, NCC has been a counselor with Penn Foundation’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) since 2010.  She has experience working with children, teens, and adults with a variety of life challenges including singleness, divorce, effective parenting, anxiety, depression, panic, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), phobia, career transitions, and more.  She has interacted with diverse populations with varying cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.  Previously, Bonnie worked at the Biblical Theological Seminary Graduate School of Counseling for 14 years, serving as Interim Director and an adjunct professor.  Bonnie graduated from Biblical Theological Seminary with her MA in Counseling in 2006.  In addition to being a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), she is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS).  As an ACS, Bonnie provides supervision and consultation to Master’s level therapists pursuing their licensure.

Deb Ryan, Penn Foundation’s Director of Community Outreach, has worked at the agency for 32 years.  She served as Director of Emergency Services from 1999 – 2013.  Her experience working with individuals who were experiencing a mental health or substance abuse emergency helped her gain a unique perspective regarding needs in the community.

Lu Mauro, M.Ed., CPRP is the Associate Director for Mental Health Rehabilitation Services at Penn Foundation.  In this role, she oversees several community based programs designed to address the employment, education, wellness, social, and residential needs and desires of individuals with psychiatric diagnoses as well as those with co-occurring substance abuse disorders.  Lu is the former director of Penn Foundation’s Wellspring Clubhouse and has 34 years of experience and leadership in community behavioral health services.  She has served on the Board of Directors for both the PA Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, PA Clubhouse Coalition, and the International Clubhouse Advisory Council.  She has presented on psychiatric rehabilitation and the Clubhouse Model at numerous local, state, national and international conferences and was named a Dincin Fellow by the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association in 2014.


For more information, contact Karen M. Kern at 215.453.5171 or


If you do not receive the professional benefits described in our program materials or you have some other professional complaint, please let us know in writing within 7 days of the training and we will honor your request for a refund.


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