The Institute on Wellness for Helping Professionals


On-going Support and Education for Agencies and Individuals

IMAG0177LRThere are many intrinsic rewards that result from helping those who have experienced traumatizing events.  However, listening to stories of trauma may have negative effects on those serving in helping capacities.  The emotional costs of caring for clients with histories of trauma can be significant, both for clinicians themselves and those around them.



Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) refers to those physical, cognitive, behavioral, and emotional reactions experienced by clinicians as a natural by-product of working with those who have experienced trauma.   The mission of the Institute on Wellness for Helping Professionals is to serve as a resource to agencies and individuals in the helping professions, developing awareness of the risk and protective factors of STS and promoting strategies to support wellness. The Institute on Wellness for Helping Professionals provides participants with the most current information on the neuroscience of secondary traumatic stress, in addition to evidence-based models and practices to increase counselor resiliency to STS.

The Institute on Wellness for Helping Professionals was developed by of a team of faculty from the Department of Applied Psychology who are motivated and passionate about wellness education and support for helping professionals across disciplines. The Institute was launched in May 2014, during which 65 members of our profession (students, educators, clinicians, supervisors,administrato9rs) gathered at Antioch New England for facilitated dialogue to develop standards for practice both individually and collectively for creating a climate conducive to counselor wellness.  These standards focused not only on increasing individual’s resilience to STS, but more importantly, organizational capacity to systematically prevent and respond to the occupational hazard of STS and its complex effect on clients served, individual service providers, and organizational mission.

Beginning in the Fall of 2015 the Institute’s faculty have embarked on a “Wellness Tour,” bringing wellness support and education to sites throughout New England. The Institute has successfully reached more than 450 people in the helping professions during its Wellness Tour! These workshops are offered at little to no cost to the attendees and are approved for Continuing Education Hours (through NBCC) for professional licensure.



For more information regarding the Institute on Wellness for Helping Professionals, or to schedule a workshop at your site, please contact Melissa Chickering at or by phone at 603-283-2153.