ACHA Resilience Taskforce
For many years, higher education professionals have been focused on the resilience of our students. But what about those that focus on our students. The American College Health Association has developed a continuing series of presentations focused on the broad array of professionals that could benefit from focusing on their own resilience. Each month, a different topic will be addressed, from administrators, faculty, and health and wellness.
Directors are currently charged with the impossible. They are expected to ensure that centers meet campus demands of providing rapid and adequate mental health care to a never-ending volume of students who present with ever-increasing acuity. Job burnout is often discussed and is defined as a "consequence of the perceived disparity between the demands of the job and the resources that an employee has available to them". Based on this definition, the role of the college counseling center director is a recipe for burnout. Oftentimes, when the concept of professional resilience is discussed, conversations rarely go beyond superficial tips and ideas for self-care. Therefore, in thinking about the institutional expectations of counseling centers, a question arises: How can a director perform their job without facing potential burnout? This interactive session will be facilitated by three directors who have struggled with difficult work demands and burnout and have utilized creative means to maintain their creativity and passion for their jobs. Concepts such as empowering compassion, vulnerable and authentic leadership, "creative ninja" outreach, values exploration, and boundary setting will guide the discussion and help participants learn different ways to manage the day-to-day demands of their job over a long period of time.
Presenter: L. Mēgan Kersting, LMHC, PsyD
Director, Clark University Center for Counseling & Personal Growth