Cultivating Wellbeing for Health Professionals
With Andrea Grabovac, MD and Erin Burrell, MD, FRCPC
September 27 - October 2, 2024
“In dealing with those who are undergoing great suffering, if you feel ‘burnout’ setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.” -Dalai Lama
Replenish and revitalize yourself in this mindfulness-based meditation retreat for health professionals and partners.
This retreat on beautiful Cortes Island is not only an opportunity to “reboot” our systems, with nutritious food, magnificent natural landscapes, and time to unplug, but we will also be supported to develop and deepen an inner stance of mindfulness and equanimity.
Working in healthcare, we often struggle with balancing competing values, making do with a lack of necessary resources, and coping with obstacles beyond our control. Burnout is a normal response to working in a system where the demands on our internal reserves outstrip our ability to replenish those reserves. One of the first steps in creating meaningful, effective systemic change is to shift our habitual reactions to daily stressors and burnout triggers.
Evidence-Based Approach to Wellness
Dr. Erin Burrell and Dr. Andrea Grabovac will draw on evidence-based mindfulness meditation practices and elements of cognitive therapy from Mindfulness integrated Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MiCBT) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) to guide participants in this discovery. Specific tools to develop equanimity, adapted from MiCBT, will be introduced, and we will practice the applied integration of these into daily life. We will leave this retreat not only rested, but also equipped with practices that help us connect deeply with awareness and discern where we have choice, which will then help us harness our limited resources to influence changes that really matter to us and our work.
Partners are invited as full participants in the program, recognizing that stressors on health care workers affect their entire social ecosystems. Conversely, when we make changes together with those close to us, these changes are deeper and more sustainable.
Customized Program Schedule
The workshop retreat consists of morning and afternoon periods of teacher-guided mindfulness practices with the group, including sitting, mindful movement, and body scan meditations, as taught in MiCBT and MBCT. There are opportunities to discuss meditation technique and reflect on practice with the group, exploring together how these skills can be applied to help us effectively engage with the challenges we face and the systemic drivers of burnout.
In addition to structured morning and afternoon group activities, we are invited to continue mindfulness practice during set periods of silence, as well as optional participation in Hollyhock’s yoga and wellness offerings, which can further support a deepening of mindfulness skills. Participants who wish to discuss their personal mindfulness practices individually with Erin or Andrea can do so through interviews in the evening.
By the end of this retreat, we will:
- Apply a precise, actionable definition of mindfulness to our relationship with well-being and resilience
- Understand how to work with attention and awareness to develop mindfulness, metacognitive awareness, interoceptive awareness and equanimity
- Practice the ability to attend to present-moment experience in a more spacious, non-reactive, and effective way through a carefully sequenced progression of meditations, including:
- Mindfulness of breath
- Body scanning
- Mindfulness of sounds and thoughts
- Loving kindness
- Mindfulness interoceptive exposure task (MIET)
- Explore personal values to obtain clarity about what guiding principles give our lives meaning, so that we can make choices to better align with these.
- Develop practical and effective strategies for cultivating mindfulness and equanimity in daily life
Click here to enjoy a guided meditation practice used to relate to chronic pain, led by Dr. Andrea Grabovac.
This Cultivating Wellness for Health Professions credit-per-hour Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 31.25 hrs Mainpro+ credits.
Eligible for 15.5 hrs of MOCOMP Section 1 unaccredited small-group activity credits for specialist Canadian physicians (31.25 hours total – 0.5 credits per hour).
A detailed schedule will be available at least 2 weeks in advance of the program. View sample schedule here.
Dr. Andrea Grabovac, MD, FRCPC, is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, and Co-Director of the North American Chapter of the Mindfulness integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MiCBT) Institute. She has practiced inpatient psychiatry for 20 years at Vancouver Hospital, and her outpatient…
Learn more about Andrea Grabovac, MD
Erin Burrell, MD, FRCPC (she/her) is a psychiatrist and a Clinical Instructor at UBC. She is an innovator who is passionate about systemic change, and in this journey she has realized that system transformation starts on the inside. Her inquiring has taken her deeply into several psychotherapies, particularly mindfulness and…
Learn more about Erin Burrell, MD, FRCPC