Sunday, March 2, 2014

As healthcare providers we are all susceptible to compassion fatigue by the nature of our profession. There is only so much we have to give, and when we are depleted we run the risk of burning out.

This workshop will help you recognize your danger signs, the red flags that signal your need for some respite and more balance in order to recover; and the presenter will outline ways in which caregivers can better metaphorically "put on their own oxygen mask first."

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Most of us are old enough to remember watching the events of 9/11 as they unfolded live on our television sets. And we know instinctively how we can be vicariously traumatized.

As healthcare workers we are continuously subjected to the painful and traumatic experiences of our clients.

The more empathic we are, the more we are vulnerable to be traumatized ourselves.

There is actually a physiological basis for our reactions, as you can see from the following illustration:



"Michael is not only a talented psychotherapist,
he is a warm and dedicated teacher and with great leadership
and mentoring capacities!!"   Sarah Lincoln, LCSW

"What a wonderful presentation! The feedback has been great
and I truly appreciated you sharing your story."    Sarah Phillips, LCSW
from 28th Annual APNA Conference:
Overall rating: 5.7 out of possible 6
"Great speaker. Excellent class. We need more of these types of presentations!"


 In this workshop you will learn the difference between Vicarious Trauma and Burnout, both of which contribute to Compassion Fatigue. You will learn the signs and symptoms of each, and how to self-monitor your own reactions to the pain and trauma your clients confide in you.
In the second part of this workshop you will learn the ABC's of resilience, and how to apply them to your own self care, both at work and in your personal life.


The presenter, Michael E. Holtby, LCSW, BCD has been in the field for forty-six years. He had one significant burnout after twelve years to the extent that he went back to school in commercial photography at the Colorado Institute of Art. He never completely stopped his private practice, and ultimately returned to it fulltime. Subsequently, he has successfully navigated three decades of engaged work as a psychotherapist, and in 2010 was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Colorado Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Holtby has been deeply involved in the AIDS epidemic since its inception, and ninety of clients, friends and colleagues have died. There was a time when he was attending a funeral a month. As represented by the AIDS quilt, which has 43,000 panels, it was like the experience of a tsunami in the first years of the epidemic when medical treatments to stop the progression of HIV were not available.
Holtby talks about the trauma of this period, but also how he was inspired by the resilience of his clients; and what they taught him about living from their own experience facing dying.

Audience reaction to Mike's unique perspective:

"Very interesting presentation - used experiences in life as examples. Invite him to come back."
"Heard it all before, but this one made more of an impact."  
Wyoming NASW 2014 Annual Conference.

 If you would like him to come talk to your agency, team, professional group or conference please email him at:; or call 303-396-3818.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


  1. January, 2014:      Denver Therapist’s Network
  2. February, 2014:    Rocky Mountain Human Services
  3. March, 2014:        Colorado Department of Health
  4. May, 2014:           Better Communities of Colorado
  5. June, 2014:           26th Annual National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS
  6. September, 2014: Wyoming National Association of Social Work Annual Conference
  7. October, 2014:     Keynote: Colorado Association of Psychotherapists Annual Conference
  8. October, 2014:     Colorado Clinical Social Work Society
  9. October, 2014:     28th Annual American Psychiatric Nurses Association Conference - Indianapolis
  10. March, 2015:        Boulder County AIDS Project Staff Training
  11. March, 2015:        GYRO Club of Denver
  12. April 2016:           Colorado Counseling Association Conference

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

ENTIRE WORKSHOP - Presented at APNA Conference, 10/14

Part 1: Compassion Fatigue, Vicarious Trauma & Burnout: 

Part 2: Post Traumatic Growth & Resilience: