Self-Care for the Stressed Health Care Practitioner: Preventing Burnout & Promoting Wellness

Self-Care Program Host

Matt Hersh, PhD, DCEP

Dr. Matt Hersh is a licensed clinical psychologist, practicing psychotherapist, mindfulness meditation teacher, and founder of The Thriving Therapist and VitalMind. Matt is also a certified teacher of Koru Mindfulness and a diplomate of Comprehensive Energy Psychology.  Matt approaches therapy from an integrative perspective synthesizing mindfulness, CBT, and energy psychology methods. Always a learner, evolver, and helper, Matt has created The Thriving Therapist, a platform for fellow mental health professionals to enhance their self-awareness, skill, and motivation for sustainable self-care and thriving. Matt has also partnered with his friend and colleague, Dr. Laura Ferrer, to establish VitalMind, a mindfulness-based learning platform for parents to reduce their stress, enhance their joy, and find better balance in the life-long adventure of parenting. 


Self-Care Guest Experts

Chris Berlin, MDiv

Mr. Berlin brings a unique perspective to self-care and practitioner burnout as former Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Buddhist Chaplain, mindfulness meditation teacher, and Harvard Divinity School faculty and chaplain. Mr. Berlin speaks to the nuanced differences among burnout, compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatization, and secondary traumatic stress. He also highlights how certain qualities found in meditative practice, like present moment awareness, equanimity, and self-compassion, can be harnessed for daily practitioner self-care, prevention of burnout, and cultivation of more enduring wellness. 


Cory Chen, PhD

Dr. Chen is director of the Psychotherapy Research and Development Program and Co-director of the Telemental Health Hub at the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System’s Manhattan campus. He was the former Coordinator for the Program for Family Caregiver Mental Health and Wellness at the Manhattan VA and is current coordinator the psychodynamic psychotherapy training program at the Manhattan VA. Dr. Chen thus lends expert and highly unique perspectives on the challenges of caregiving and self-care as well as the opportunities of training the next generation of psychotherapists in clinical and self-care competencies. 


Erica Wise, PhD

As past president of the North Carolina Psychological Association (NCPA) and co-chair of NCAP Ethics Committee, and former chair of the APA Ethics Committee, Dr. Wise speaks to the complicated intersection of ethics, self-care, and well-being for psychologists. She has co-authored numerous papers on this subject as well as on competency models for psychologist training.  She has also received numerous awards for her service to graduate training, teaching, and the intersection of ethics and psychology.  Dr. Wise is a Clinical Professor and the long-time director of Psychological Services at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Thomas Richardson, LiAC, M.A.

As a licensed acupuncturist and Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, certified Medical QiGong practitioner, and Eastern healing traditions scholar, Mr. Richardson has a strong background and set of professional and personal experiences with caring for the mind-body as an integrative whole. He brings Traditional Chinese Medicine and Oriental Medicine philosophies to bear on the pragmatic problems of professional burnout and practitioner care for the self. He highlights ways to approach burnout prevention relative to burnout intervention and how integrating into daily life certain mindfulness- and mind-body based practices can help prevent the proliferation of unnecessary stress processes. Thomas has recently published a book on Chinese Medicine extraordinary vessels and Daoist philosophy called Extraordinary Chinese Medicine.  


Marci Evans, MS, CEDRD-S, LDN, cPT

As a registered eating disorders dietician, intuitive eating coach, and certified personal trainer, Marci Evans is uniquely positioned to speak to the issues of self-care from a mind-body integrative perspective. She brings her varied and vast experience working with clients struggling with care for the bodies and how the mental attitudes we hold about our bodies play a powerful role in how we care for ourselves. She turns this knowledge and experience toward practitioner health and how to integrate on a daily basis the principles and practices of mindful acceptance and change.


Ariel Botta, PhD, MSW, LiCSW

Dr. Botta is a senior social worker in Endocrinology, Psychiatry, and Social Work at Boston Children's Hospital, and a Teaching Associate in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. As former long-time director of group psychotherapy at Boston Children’s Hospital and a mindfulness practitioner and certified yoga teacher, Ms. Botta lends expert perspectives on how mindfulness, gratitude, and simple present moment awareness are vital ingredients to self-care. Dr. Botta holds a doctorate in Social Work and has been conducting research on mindfulness-based self-care for health care practitioners.