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‘Women on Wednesdays’ talk to address ‘Self-Care for Women-Helping Professionals’

JOHNSON CITY – “Self-Care for Women-Helping Professionals” is the focus of a presentation in East Tennessee State University’s “Women on Wednesdays” lecture series on Feb. 1.

This free public talk, sponsored by the ETSU Women’s Studies Program, will take place from noon-1 p.m. in the presentation room of the Multicultural Center, located on the second level of the D.P. Culp University Center.  A light lunch will be provided.

In her presentation, Dr. Dottie Saxon Greene, an assistant professor in the ETSU Department of Social Work, will discuss how such professional caregivers as teachers, counselors, social workers, clergy, psychologists, first responders and other health care workers often pay a high price for the care they provide to others.

She contends this is particularly true for women, who are frequently caregivers in their personal lives to their children, their parents and their friends.  Some common occupational hazards in the helping fields, she says, include burnout, compassion fatigue, stress, secondary traumatization and vicarious trauma.

Greene will illustrate the importance of self-care as a prevention and intervention strategy to lessen these risks.  She will also lead participants in personal self-assessments, teach them evidence-based self-care strategies and help them create their own plans for self-care.

Before coming to ETSU in 2013, Greene worked at Western Carolina University, where she developed and ran the Certificate in Substance Abuse Studies program.  Her social work practice experience has been in the areas of addiction, mental health, trauma, gender responsive treatment and clinical supervision.  Her research interests include recovering addiction professionals and relapse, practitioner well-being and social work student self-care.

The “Women on Wednesdays” series is designed to raise awareness about the research, scholarship and community engagement that women at ETSU are doing; to provide a venue where women on campus and in the community can discuss and support each other’s work; and to give students an opportunity to meet faculty who could become mentors for their studies.

Upcoming ETSU speakers in this series include Dr. Lorianne Mitchell of the Department of Management and Marketing on March 1; Dr. Martha Copp of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Dr. Jodi Polaha of the Department of Family Medicine on March 15; Lindsey Devine, women’s volleyball coach, on April 5; and Pooja Jagadish, a medical student in the Quillen College of Medicine (date to be announced).

For more information, call Dr. Phyllis Thompson, director of ETSU Women’s Studies, at 423-439-4125. For disability accommodations, call the ETSU Office of Disability Services at 423-439-8346.