Jea Theis & Betsy Funk

The Art of Compassion: Managing Compassion Fatigue & Burnout through the Use of Expressive Arts

We will bring an experiential workshop to the Grief Awareness Conference which will provide an educational and engaging discussion about Compassion Fatigue and Expressive Arts to helping professionals. Additionally, this workshop will provide a hands-on opportunity to learn to utilize and incorporate Expressive Arts techniques and practices in relation to symptoms and issues related to Compassion Fatigue.  We will also teach new art-related coping skills practices to prevent burnout and Compassion Fatigue.


  1. Define and differentiate between compassion fatigue, primary and secondary trauma, vicarious trauma, burnout, and compassion satisfaction
  2. Examine contributing factors, signs, and symptoms of Compassion Fatigue (CF) and Vicarious Trauma (VT)
  3. Identify and practice individual Expressive Arts strategies that help mitigate the symptoms and effects of CF/VT
  4. Discuss issues related to workplace burnout and reconnect with the rewards of your work

Meet the Presenters:

Jea Theis is a licensed independent mental health counselor and social worker and co-founder of Omaha Therapy and Arts Collaborative. Jea has been working in the social services and mental health field for almost twenty years, starting out in the area of family violence as a men’s domestic violence counselor and CPS worker. After completing her MSW degree, Jea practiced in a community mental health counseling center, then spent time working with children and families impacted by sexual abuse and other trauma. She has received specialized training in EMDR, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) and Compassion Fatigue. Her other passion is increasing awareness about Compassion Fatigue, providing education and consultation to agencies and supporting those working in helping professions in our community.

Betsy Funk is a licensed independent mental health practitioner and co-founder of Omaha Therapy and Arts Collaborative. She has been a certified social worker for over 21 years and a mental health practitioner for 14 years. She has worked with various agencies including Goodwill Industries, Nebraska Health and Human Services, and Lutheran Family Services. Currently, she works with people coping with challenges of all kinds with a specialty in trauma and childhood abuse related issues. She has specialized training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Training as well as Expressive Arts Therapy, having just completed the training requirements for a REAT (Registered Expressive Arts Therapist) certification. Her passion involves bringing the arts into treatment in a way that promotes healing and resiliency. She is the founder of the “GREAT” Teen and Kids Groups, which are Expressive Arts focused therapy groups currently being piloted in area school settings.