This year, Advanced Recovery Systems (ARS) is furthering our commitment to helping medical providers stay in the forefront of their fields by offering monthly continuing education courses at each of our centers. Featuring leading physicians, clinicians and addiction experts, these events cover a range of topics, including substance use disorders, mental illness, trauma and more.
The first event of 2018, held earlier this month at The Alfond Inn in Winter Park, Florida, shifted the focus from client care to clinician well-being. Centered around the topics of self-care and mindfulness, attendees were encouraged to examine their own self-care routines, find areas that could be improved, and explore ways that self-care could be incorporated into their daily lives. The event featured Sandee S. Nebel, owner of White Picket Fence Counseling Center in Winter Park, Florida, and Dr. Romie Mushtaq, a neurologist and nationally acclaimed speaker.
Sandee S. Nebel is the owner of White Picket Fence Counseling Center and a licensed mental health counselor, eating disorder specialist, psychotherapist, yoga instructor and beach lover. She spoke about the importance of self-care for mental health professionals, along with ways that yoga can help promote self-compassion and balance. Sometimes, health care providers can let their own needs fall by the wayside because they spend so much time helping others. But if they don’t take care of themselves first, they won’t be able to help their clients as effectively.
To guide clinicians in understanding their own self-care needs and assess how well they were fulfilling them, Sandee began her talk by asking audience members to fill out a quick self-care inventory that assessed five different dimensions of self-care: physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual and professional. By attending to these needs on a daily basis, counselors can improve their own mental health and well-being to avoid compassion fatigue and burnout.
Sandee posed that yoga can be a particularly beneficial way to practice self-care, especially its physical, psychological and emotional elements. While many people think of yoga as a series of physical movements, Sandee contended that it can be much more than that. Yoga provides the opportunity to reconnect the body and mind through the breath. To close her talk, Sandee demonstrated a series of yoga asanas that can easily be practiced at home, work or with clients.
As a nationally recognized neurologist, mindfulness teacher and physician, Dr. Romie Mushtaq has delivered TED Talks and appeared in countless news outlets, including NPR, NBC, Fox News, CBS, The Huffington Post and USA Today. She spoke at ARS’ January continuing education event to discuss two subjects that she’s an expert in: stress and mindfulness.
According to Dr. Romie, 6 out of every 10 physicians report symptoms of burnout, compared to just 28 percent of other white-collar professionals. When she first became a doctor, she quickly became one of these physicians: stressed, overworked and struggling with health problems. It wasn’t until she developed a rare disorder, achalasia, that she realized she needed to make time for herself and reduce her stress. During her recovery, she discovered the power of mindful meditation.
Regular meditation, Dr. Romie explained, can reduce stress and inflammation and bolster the body’s defenses against a whole range of illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disorders, neurological diseases and more. By taking a few minutes every day to be mindful, clinicians can reconnect with their sense of self, sleep better, improve their health and help their clients more effectively.
Advanced Recovery Systems would like to thank everyone who attended and spoke at January’s continuing education event. To learn more about this series or upcoming events, visit our continuing education page or send an email to [email protected]. If you have any questions about treatment for substance use or mental health disorders, call 855-399-5189.