We are the instruments of care for others. And when we are struggling, that struggle affects the quality of our work with our clients. This basic idea rests at the heart of professional codes, which advise us that we need to be physically and mentally competent to do our caregiving work. But this notion of the ethics of self care has another dimension. As it emerged in the lives of activists inspired by Audre Lorde, the term self care expressed the profoundly unjust lack of interest in, or support for, the basic human needs of the marginalized. It also reflects the unequal burden placed on the practitioner by the systems that put them into psychologically hazardous conditions. We will explore the layered ethical implications of self care in this workshop, using film, lecture, and discussion.
Sean Fitzpatrick, PhD, LPC, holds master’s degrees in religious studies (Rice University) and clinical psychology (University of Houston – Clear Lake) and received his doctorate in psychology through Saybrook University’s program in Jungian studies. Sean is a psychotherapist in private practice and has been employed at The Jung Center since 1997.