Sustainable caring for helping professionals
What would it be like to put yourself as a priority?
What would it be like to carve out a space that's just for you? To not be last on your own to-do list? And what if you could do all that without guilt? The world needs a lot of healing, but you're part of this world too.
Setting boundaries is not just about learning how to say no (although that's part of it!). It's also about making room to say yes. Yes to what nourishes you. Yes to what sustains you. Yes to the things that are most important to you.
And in that way, setting boundaries is really about listening to yourself. It involves rediscovering a relationship with all parts of you - body, heart, mind, and spirit. It starts with listening to your own inner wisdom, and then honoring it.
This online course is designed for social change makers and helping professionals. I thought of all the people I've worked with who care for others in their jobs or in their communities (activists, teachers, medical professionals, social workers, and therapists, for example) and how it's often so hard to do that work without burning out. I thought of all the people I know who are performing emotional labor in their most important relationships on a daily basis and who are exhausted from it. I wanted to create a course that could be accessed online and worked through at a pace that was right for each person.
Drawn from years of clinical experience as a Registered Psychologist, I created this course to help challenge the idea that being a good person means everyone else should come before you. This course is a fantastic space to find yourself again, and start living in a way that's more sustainable, authentic, and in line with your values.
Module 1: Boundary Foundations
Radically redefine boundaries and get solid in understanding just exactly what a boundary is (and isn't!). Look at how resentment, exhaustion, and burnout may already be impacting your life. Through a mindfulness-based exercise, understand your current relationship with boundaries and your reasons for doing the work.
Module 2: Whole Body Decision Making
Learn all about whole-body decision making and how it fits in with setting boundaries. Work through some decisions of your own and explore big questions like "what should I do when parts of myself are in conflict?", "how do I say no when there's still do much more work to be done?" and "how do I know the difference between self-care and self-sabotage?"
Module 3: Context Context Context!
Through an experiential exercise, discover where you stand with different types of boundaries. Learn about the importance of context and how we can know when it's right for us to use passive, aggressive, or assertive behavior. (Hint: they all have a place!)
Module 4: The Struggle is Real
Explore three of the most toxic messages women are given about boundaries and how they affect our worth. Get clear on the impact of these, and let go of the beliefs that are no longer serving you.
Module 5: Letting Go of Guilt
Discuss what gets in the way of respecting our own boundaries and why it's so important to start with ourselves. Learn how to deal with guilt, fear, and numbing in new and creative ways.
Module 6: Getting out of the Rescuer Role
Discover the internal signs that you're falling into a rescuer role, and learn how to take a step back while holding onto your compassion. Understand how sensitivity is a strength that we can learn to work with without burning out.
Module 7: Recognizing & Recovering from Burnout
Learn the signs of burnout and several concrete strategies you can use to create a more sustainable relationship with your helping role.
Module 8: Learning from Others, Moving Forward
Receive two guest interviews with Meg Berryman and Lily Le to help you learn from others doing work on boundaries. Gather ideas and resources to help you move forward with what you've learned.
Meg Berryman is a mother, feminist, coach, facilitator and yoga teacher who helps women liberate themselves from socially prescribed ideals + step into sacred, social leadership. She believes that burnout, relationship breakdowns and career crises are portals into deep individual and planetary healing that centers healthy relating, holistic wellness and earth stewardship. She brings together her 10+ years in social change work, her masters degrees in gender and public health and her experience as a yoga teacher, coach and facilitator to create learning experiences for women seeking radical wellbeing, deep connection and an unshakeable sense of purpose. She is a mother of two girls, and lives, learns and works on unceded Dja Dja Wurrung country in Central Victoria, Australia.
You Will Receive:
- 7x pre-recorded 30 minute training audios (podcast style)
- 2x guest mentor 45 minute interview audios (podcast style)
- journal prompts with optional, adult homework to accompany each module
- 4x downloadable PDF guides, worksheets, or articles to supplement the themes
This course includes all the same material as my 8 week in-person groups. I wanted to make it accessible for those who aren't in Edmonton or who are otherwise unable to make it out in person but ready to carve out an hour a week to work on boundaries. It's aimed at anyone in a helping role in their jobs or personal lives who wants to keep their heart open without going under. We start by reconnecting with our bodies and aiming for a more sustainable way of relating to others.
How Can I Get the Most out of This Course?
1. Know What to Expect
In this course I mainly use audio recordings (including two guest interviews), though I also try to incorporate ideas you could try on your own, and I include some worksheets and guides, as I understand that people learn in different ways. If you're curious about the weekly theme, you can also have a closer look at the outline above. I also encourage people who don't already know me to have a listen to some of the podcast interviews I've recorded over the years or read articles I've written in order to get a sense of my style and my take on boundaries in order to make sure that we're a good match. I want you to be happy with the course and to feel like this is a full body yes!
2. Be Honest with Yourself About What You Need
In terms of an online course, I think it's all too easy to convince ourselves that we'll fit it in "when we have time". If you're here because this is important to you, I'm going to suggest finding a way to specifically set time aside in the same you would for an in-person course or workshop. If it helps to put it in your calendar for a certain day and time each week, or make a commitment with a friend to do it, please do, Know for yourself what would help you the most in making this commitment to yourself and what will keep you going, even when other peoples' needs are calling to you.
Making change takes practice, and so when we're working on things like saying no to people we care about, it can take time. I try to give optional adult homework that you can have to work on in between modules, and that way you'll get even more out of the course than just the time you spend listening to the audio. It may be helpful to think about how you can practice, integrate, or reflect on what you've learned after listening to the audio throughout the week. This might be a practice of listening to your body for 10 minutes each day, or a journalling reflection once a week, for example. Some days will be easier than others, of course, but over time you're likely to see more growth and healing by making this commitment. Keep in mind that healing doesn't happen overnight, and have patience with yourself.
Nicole Perry is a Registered Psychologist whose approach is collaborative and feminist at its heart. She specializes in working with people who are struggling with feeling burnt out and are learning to say no. Nicole understands that many of us are coping with overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame that keep us from believing we deserve good things, and works to guide her clients toward a more compassionate way forward. Nicole approaches her healing work with warmth and curiosity, and offers a safe container for working with difficult experiences.
Nicole provides counselling to individuals and groups in addition to her online courses, focused mainly in the LGBTQ* community in Edmonton.