Elizabeth Venart, Licensed Professional Counselor: Creating Counselor Wellness through Education, Consultation, & Community BuildingHomeBackgroundCounselingResourcesInspirationsContact Beth Venart

As helping professionals, it is important not only to stay current with the latest research in the field but also to learn ways to build our resiliency against the detrimental impact of the work. Agencies, individuals, and communities can become so overwhelmed by the needs of those they serve that they forget to take time out for themselves and to find balance within the workday and within their lives.

Training Programs  Upcoming Events Recent Events

Training Programs
Beth Venart provides a variety of programs that educate helpers, provide forums for community-building, and creatively support the needs of helpers to nurture themselves as well as others. In addition to scheduled trainings, organizations can request specialized training programs on alternative counseling and wellness-related subject areas.

Topics for educational programs include:

  • Counseling Trauma Survivors
  • Transforming vicarious trauma
  • Counselor Wellness and Resiliency
  • Creativity and enhanced problem-solving
  • Stress management
  • Team-building
  • Agency retreats

Programs are custom designed to address the goals and specific needs of the agency and/or community being trained. Trainings are facilitated by Beth Venart individually or in collaboration with other professionals. All programs include an experiential component and a variety of teaching modalities in recognition of the multiple ways that people learn. Programs are continually being evaluated in order to improve their effectiveness and applicability across a variety of helping professions.

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Counseling trauma survivors: Many of those who seek counseling have experienced emotional, physical, or sexual trauma. Even clients who pursue therapy for seemingly unrelated concerns often have unresolved trauma that makes progress more difficult. This training provides participants with information about a relational trauma model and practical tools for working effectively with traumatized clients. This approach stresses that symptoms are adaptations and that clinical relationships are most therapeutic when the counselor demonstrates respect, provides information, connects with the client through empathic understanding, and conveys hope. Illustrations of this model are shared, and participants are given opportunities for small group discussion and experiential learning.

Counselor wellness and resiliency: Stressful life events and personal/professional circumstances can create distress in the lives of counselors. It is critical that helpers continually evaluate their wellness and identify areas for intervention as well as concrete strategies for improvement. In this program, results from several national studies by the Task Force on Counselor Wellness and Impairment are presented to stimulate discussion about ways to support counselor wellness. Participants learn practical tools for promoting resiliency and engage in experiential activities to promote well-being.

Stress management: Educational programs on the topic of stress management are presented with a combination of didactic, interactive, and experiential approaches. The workshop begins with an individual assessment of health across all life domains: physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, social, leisure, and career/workplace. The program then provides an overview of effective strategies for maintaining wellness in each domain and encourages participants to develop and implement plans for positive change in their wellness routines. Special attention is given to the area of workplace wellness, and participants work together to devise practical solutions to the ongoing and pervasive difficulties helpers face in setting limits and care-taking themselves while in the career of care-taking others.

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Creativity and enhanced problem-solving: Educational programs on creativity are primarily experiential in nature. The focus is on providing participants with activities that will allow them to step outside of traditional, linear thinking and gain alternative perspectives on their work and ongoing challenges. These workshops draw upon the work of Carl Jung, Natalie Rogers, a person-centered expressive arts therapist, and Nancy Napier. Programs are designed to help participants develop greater self-awareness, practice spontaneity and mindfulness, and move towards greater trust of self and others. Participants will learn leave with expressive arts tools that they can use personally, to enhance their self-care practices, or professionally, to facilitate healing with clients.

Transforming vicarious trauma: Bearing witness to the pain, violence and emotional trauma of clients can deplete the resources of even the most skilled professional. This workshop increases participants’ understanding of the concept of vicarious trauma and facilitates both verbal and nonverbal activities to help mediate the negative impact of this work. Using music, artwork and collective story-telling, participants will increase their capacity for creativity, spontaneity and meaningful connection with peers. Educational programs on vicarious trauma provide a combination of didactic, interactive, and experiential teaching methods.

Team building: Trainings on team-building are interactive and experiential in nature and are custom-designed for each organization or community group. Team-building programs are ideal for enhancing effective communication within a group or between work groups in an organization. Program activities include opportunities to play, find creative solutions together, and participate in safe and fun trust-building exercises with colleagues.

Agency retreats: Those who commit themselves to helping others work hard and deserve to take time to replenish themselves through play, laughter, and meaningful dialogue. Agency retreats are designed in collaboration with agency leaders and workshop participants so that they can best meet the present-day needs of the group.

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Upcoming Events
Spring 2008: “Replenishing the Well” experiential support group for sustaining counselor wellness, Ambler, PA
Summer 2008: Group Counseling I & II, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Fall 2008: “Replenishing the Well” experiential support group for sustaining counselor wellness, Ambler, PA
Ongoing: Clinical supervision group for counselors seeking licensure, Ambler, PA

Recent Events
Winter 2007: Group Counseling I, Drexel University, Philadelphia
Winter 2007: Group Counseling II, Drexel University, Philadelphia
February 9, 2007: Healing Vicarious Trauma through Creative Expression, Earthbourne Institute, Glenside, PA
April 12, 2007: Healing Vicarious Trauma through Creative Expression, Bucks County NOVA
April 25, 2007: Talking to your children about staying safe, Lower Providence Community Library
January 26, 2007: Creativity: Accessing our inner wisdom workshop, Earthbourne Institute, Glenside, PA

November 10, 2006: Healing secondary trauma through creative expression workshop, Earthbourne Institute, Glenside, PA.
October 26-28, 2006: New Mexico Counseling Association, Abuquerque, NM
- Education session on ACA Counselor Wellness Task Force Research
- Full-day experiential workshop on sustaining wellness
Summer 2006: Group Counseling II, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Summer 2006: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy II, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Spring 2006: Group Counseling I, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Spring 2006: Group Counseling II, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
April 1, 2006: ACA Convention Education Session, Counselor Wellness and Impairment, Montreal, Canada
April 1, 2006: ACA Convention, C-AHEAD Wellness Center: Using creative expression to access our stories and our strengths, Montreal, Canada
April 2, 2006: ACA Convention, Presidential Invited Poster Session: Exemplary Practices in Counselor Wellness, Montreal, Canada

Fall 2005: Group Counseling II, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
October 21, 2005: Counselor Wellness and Resilience: Training and Supervision Strategies from the Task Force on Counselor Wellness and Impairment, ACES Conference, Pittsburgh, PA
September 30, 2005: Healing Vicarious Trauma, All-day training, Philadelphia, PA
June 2005: Group Counseling II, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
June 24, 2005: Healing Through Creative Expression Workshop, Earthbourne Institute, Glenside, PA
August 5, 2005: Creativity: Accessing Our Inner Wisdom Workshop, Earthbourne Institute, Glenside, PA
Friday, April 8, 2005: ACA Workshop: Counselor Impairment, ACA Conference, Atlanta, GA

July 23, 2004: Vicarious Trauma and Team-Building Training for the Grief Assistance Program in Philadelphia, PA
Spring 2004: Assessment and Treatment Planning, Drexel University, Harrisburg, PA

November 20, 2003: Healing Through Creative Expression Workshop at the Pathways Conference in State College, PA
October 14, 2003: Vicarious Trauma Training for Mercy Hospice in Philadelphia, PA
September 27, 2003: Vicarious Trauma and Team-Building Training for the Grief Assistance Program in Philadelphia, PA
September 25, 2003: Healing Through Creative Expression Workshop at the Mid-Atlantic Sexual Assault Conference in Valley Forge, PA
Fall 2003: Theory and Practice of Counseling, Drexel University, Harrisburg, PA

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Elizabeth Venart, Licensed Professional Counselor, 602 S. Bethlehem Pike, Ambler, PA 19002
Phone 215.542.5004 • Email evenart@comcast.net

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