Speaking Engagements




Thursday, February 20, May 22, August 21 and November 20: Hayward Animal Shelter
Hayward, CA

Quarterly trainings 10am – 12pm

Compassion Fatigue and the Animal Welfare Worker
This quarterly training will travel the compassion fatigue awareness path from educating staff about compassion fatigue – its definition, symptoms, and causes to creating a framework for change. First, emphasis will be on the individual and what constitutes change and healing. Organizational compassion fatigue will then be discussed and how the animal welfare organization can help staff and volunteers to focus on higher levels of compassion satisfaction, which is the pleasure we derive from the work we choose to do. Ultimately, a healing plan will be created specific to the Hayward Animal Shelter culture with focus on creating a workplace environment fostering healthy workers.

Quarterly trainings are closed to the public.


Tuesday, March 11: California Sexual Assault Investigators Association/California Clinical Forensic Medical Training Center Joint Training Conference
Cliffs Resort, Pismo Beach, CA

10:00am – 4:30 pm

Recognizing and Managing Compassion Fatigue

Medical, law enforcement and social services professionals face trauma daily in the care they provide to victims of interpersonal violence and abuse. Our culture of violence and the toll it takes on the victims and their helpers permeates the work they do, creating a workplace riddled with rules, regulations, and structure.  Through no fault of their own, these highly-trained professionals are required to adapt to a controlled environment counter to the flexibility and creativity needed to build resiliency to lessen the effects of the trauma exposure response they experience day in, day out. Breaking through the wall of defense and denial it is possible to alleviate the risk of compassion fatigue. Through education, caregivers working in these highly volatile and emotional environments can learn to recognize and manage compassion fatigue in ways that will sustain their efforts and aid in the healing of the victims; thus bringing a higher level of compassion satisfaction to themselves and their work.

To learn more about the conference, go to www.csaia.org


Friday, March 21: San Jose Animal Care Services
San Jose, CA

Recognizing and Managing Compassion Fatigue in the Workplace

Animal welfare workers are known for having high levels of compassion fatigue. Society's disregard for animals and their care often translates to shelter work by way of abuse, hoarding, and mistreatment of these wonderful creatures. Animal lovers often enter into this profession with no warning that the daily stress can easily lead to burnout and ultimately compassion fatigue. Healing from the symptoms of compassion fatigue is possible, but authentic, sustainable self-care practices are mandatory. Leadership in animal welfare organizations must take full responsibility for designing and implementing corporate programs that create an environment conducive to creating employee wellness. Once this occurs, it is possible to lower compassion fatigue levels while simultaneously raising compassion satisfaction levels. This balance will keep workers returning each day to educate our society on the joys animals bring into our lives.

Not open to the public.


Tuesday, April 30: Napa County Animal Shelter and Adoption Services
Napa, CA

Training 9 - 11 am
Managing Compassion Fatigue in Animal Welfare Staff

Animal welfare workers are known for having high levels of compassion fatigue. Society’s disregard for animals and their care often translates to shelter, rescue, and hospital environments by way of abuse, hoarding and mistreatment of our beloved furry friends. This two hour training aids animal caregivers in becoming knowledgeable about compassion fatigue, a secondary traumatic stress syndrome, and how it manifests in our lives and in the workplace. Once we understand the underpinnings of compassion fatigue, we can then move forward and apply authentic, sustainable self-care practices to manage the symptoms and promote healing.

Trainings are closed to the public.


Monday, May 5: Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers/Oklahoma Assisted Living Association Conference
Embassy Suites, Norman, Oklahoma

12:30pm  - 5pm

Recognizing and Managing Compassion Fatigue

Providing health care to members of our communities is difficult work at best, but providing care to the elderly and infirm presents new and demanding challenges. With a large number of our population aging and the changes in health care due to the Affordable Care Act, helpers in the assisted living and home health care professions must adapt and thrive in ever-changing environments. Change is not always easy and when compassion fatigue is present in staff and associates, the task takes on a new level of hardship. With knowledge and understanding of compassion fatigue, its symptoms and causes, helpers can begin to create authentic, sustainable self-care practices that will carry them through the ups and downs of the work they do daily. It is possible to provide self-care while caring for others.  The key is in creating a  personal plan of action to build resiliency and elevate levels of compassion satisfaction.

To learn more about the conference, go to www.oahcp.org 


Tuesday, May 13: Marianist Center Health Care Teams Retreat
Marianist Center, Cupertino, CA

9:30am – 12:30pm

Compassion Fatigue in Health Care

The ever-changing health care environment is challenging to caregivers across the board – leadership, physicians, nurses, staff members, and the patients themselves. But one of the most challenging aspects of the health care reform we are experiencing in the U.S. is to those who define their health care organization as a ministry. Their emphasis on healing the whole person - body, mind and spirit – must raise the level of their compassion response to promote healing and fulfill their mission of providing holistic care. This three-hour retreat will focus on raising levels of compassion satisfaction, developing empathic discernment, understanding the need for self-accountability, and serving others from the heart.

Retreat is closed to the public.


Monday, June 23: National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN)
Queen¹s Square, London, England

Managing Compassion Fatigue in Palliative Medicine Caregivers

Compassion Fatigue levels in caregivers who serve patients with chronic progressive neurological conditions can be elevated due to the fact that patients tend to be under care for longer and have high levels of physical disability, communication problems and deteriorating cognition. Palliative medicine can achieve some progress and rehabilitation, but the task of maintaining healthy levels of emotional, spiritual and psychological resiliency in patients is in the hands of the caregivers. Hope and help is available with an awareness of compassion fatigue, its symptoms and causes. Successfully navigating the path to sustainable healing begins with the individual caregivers and extends out to the professional team as a whole.

To learn more about NHNN, go to www.uclh.nhs.uk


Tuesday, August 19: Villa Siena Assisted Living Facility
Villa Siena, Mt. View, CA

10 am and 1:30 pm

Compassion Fatigue in Elder Care

One of the fastest growing industries today is assisted living and skilled nursing due to the aging of the Baby Boomers. With Alzheimer disease and dementia rates rising steadily, those working in caregiving environments now have high rates of compassion fatigue, burnout and stress. If the symptoms become obvious in the helpers – emotional outbursts, negativity, absenteeism, lack of personal hygiene, and many others- it is the elderly who suffer.  Their feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, depression and isolation magnify as their helpers withdraw their support and ability to perform their jobs well. Healthy caregiving is possible in the difficult assisted living environment if and when caregivers practice authentic, sustainable self-care daily. Arriving in the workplace energized and feeling compassion for those in their care goes a long way in keeping organizations productive and financially successful.

Additional conference information TBA.


Thursday, September 18: Daughters of Charity Health System Leadership Formation
Seton Provincialate, Los Altos Hills, CA

Tuesday, September 30: Daughters of Charity Health System Leadership Formation
St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

Suffering and Compassion Fatigue in Health Care

At the core of Compassion Fatigue is pain and suffering. As health care leaders, it is important for associates to understand and accept that suffering is a part of life. But when caregivers provide care to others without practicing authentic, sustainable self-care daily, the symptoms of compassion fatigue can surface. If compassion fatigue is not kept in check within an organization, the organization itself can display the symptoms of the disorder. When this happens, this mission to care for others, especially the sick and disenfranchised can lost its ability to motivate and energize workers, leading to many to abandon the work they once loved.

This is a closed workshop. No registration available.

Sunday, October 19: Animals Today Radio Talk Show
Hosted by Lori Kirshner, MD

2 pm (PST)

Compassion Fatigue in the Animal Welfare Professions

Patricia will be the guest on the Animals Today radio show.  Anyone can listen on line by going to the website:


and clicking ‘listen live’. Once the show is broadcast, it will be archived on the website (www.animalstodayradio.com/audio/101914.mp3).

Animals Today 
is one of the primary programs of Advancing the Interests of Animals (AIA).  A nonprofit organization, AIA strives to improve the lives of animals around the globe through their educational programs and special projects.  AIA prides itself in keeping their administrative costs relatively low and their board 100% volunteer.  In fact, none of AIA’s success would even be possible without the heartfelt support they receive from donations. They hope you, too, will consider supporting Animals Today and Advancing the Interests of Animals by making a donation via their website.


Tuesday, November 11: Texas Association of Hostage Negotiators
La Cantera Hill Country Resort, San Antonio, TX

8:30am – 11:30 am: General Session
1:30pm and 3:30pm: Breakout Sessions

Compassion Fatigue in Terrorist and Hostage Negotiations

In order to diffuse the most intense hostage crisis situations, negotiators are highly trained in communication techniques and non-violent confrontations. While most of us witness these historic, heart-wrenching events on our television news, these brave and courageous caregivers experience the stresses and strains in a very personal way. With worldwide terrorism levels high, it is almost impossible for these highly skilled professionals to avoid elevated compassion fatigue given the trauma involved in hostage negotiations. On the job, it is mandatory they practice teamwork of the highest order, follow stringent regulatory orders, and remain alert and energized in order to implement long and involved strategic plans. On a personal level, it is mandatory they practice authentic, sustainable self-care in order to continue doing the intense work they do on a regular basis.
Additional conference information TBA.




Tuesday, January 13:  Kaiser Permanente Nursing Research Program
Oakland, CA

12:00 - 1:00 pm

Recognizing and Managing Compassion Fatigue

Caring too much can hurt. This is especially true in the healthcare professions. Nurses are known to have high levels of compassion fatigue due to the intense and personal care they provide daily on behalf of their patients. This one- hour workshop focuses on compassion fatigue, its definition, symptoms, causes, and how to begin the healing process, which allows caregivers to continue to do their work without harming themselves body, mind and spirit.

Not open to the public.


Saturday, January 24: California Veterinary Medicine Association Leadership Forum
Embassy Suites, Sacramento, CA

10:45 am – 12:00 pm

Compassion Fatigue in the Veterinary Medicine Profession

Studies show veterinarians have very high levels of compassion fatigue. With the recent death of Dr. Sophia Yin, a well-loved and respected animal welfare professional, members of the profession are asking how someone as dedicated, intelligent, and productive could have taken her own life. We will explore how high levels of compassion fatigue can lead to fatal outcomes. An overview of compassion fatigue will include the definition, symptoms, causes and how it manifests in those committed to animal welfare. Hopefully, with an awareness of the importance of authentic, sustainable self-care, all those who care so faithfully and compassionately for our dear furry friends will begin the healing process and practice self-care each day to lead them to a place of happiness, peace, and wellness.

Not open to the public.


Tuesday, February 24: National Conference on Campus Sexual Assault and Violence
Doubletree Hotel, Berkeley

presented by University of California, Berkeley
hosted by Janet Napolitano, President, UC Berkeley

10:45am - 12pm

Recognizing and Managing Compassion Fatigue

Work-related trauma can put service providers and caregivers at risk for the secondary traumatic stress syndrome known as compassion fatigue. Symptoms such as isolation, emotional outbursts, physical ailments, recurring nightmares, among others, can signal stress, burnout and compassion fatigue. Working on campus in the area of sexual assault and violence can be personally challenging. Healing is possible if one recognizes and learns to manage the symptoms by practicing self-care on a daily basis.

Conference is open to the public.

For more information and to register for the conference, go to:



Friday, March 13:  Ed-U-CARE Community Living
Dallas, Texas

8:30 – 10:30 am

Compassion Fatigue Symposium 2015: The Power of Mindfulness with Purpose, Presence and Peace

Recognizing and Managing Compassion Fatigue

Elderly services providers that constantly face heart-wrenching, challenging situations can eventually develop high levels of compassion fatigue. The symptoms are often distressing and depressive and can include isolation from others, emotional outbursts, physical ailments, or recurring nightmares. But healing is possible, even on the job. Participants will learn how to recognize the syndrome and develop authentic, sustainable tools for taking better care of themselves while providing quality, compassionate care to those in their care.

Open to the public.
More information to follow.

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