Building and Maintaining Career Sustaining Narratives in the Face of Burnout

Building and Maintaining Career Sustaining Narratives in the Face of Burnout
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2024-02-22
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Building and Maintaining Career Sustaining Narratives in the Face of Burnout
Unit 2 Transcript: Building and Maintaining Career Sustaining Narratives in the Face of Burnout
Unit 3 Workbook: Building and Maintaining Career Sustaining Narratives in the Face of Burnout
Unit 4 Recording: Building and Maintaining Career Sustaining Narratives in the Face of Burnout

How the public safety and helping professions dealt with the demands, stress, and even trauma that came with the field is through a traditionally tough guy “Can’t take the heat” approach. More recently, the importance of self-care is likewise highlighted to prevent burnout. This webinar introduces a revolutionary way of managing the pressure that comes with the field effectively.

Back on the Justice Clearinghouse is crowd favorite, Dr. Michael Gomez. He held multiple positions in the field of mental health – at the Bradley Hospital Lifespan Institute at Brown University, the Adversity and Resilience Community Center, and Texas Tech University Psychological Sciences, among others.

Topics he covered in the webinar include:

  • What conscious narratives are and how these shape our resilience and perception of our jobs and life in general.
  • The contrast between public perception and personal narratives among law enforcement.
  • How secondary trauma and burnout in high-stress professions are significantly influenced by these narratives emphasizing the critical role of self-narrative in coping with job-related stress and trauma.
  • The approaches to burnout perpetuated and practiced in helping professions.
    • The classic yet often destructive “can’t take the heat” approach.
    • Self-care that isn’t backed up by evidence on its effectiveness and may even create self-blame.
    • Trauma Stewardship that encourages action – any action.
    • CE-CERT that draws from research on PTSD and Complex Trauma.
  • How less tenured professionals exhibit more cognitive flexibility and are less burdened by maladaptive practices.
  • The CE-CERT model
    • How it views stress where it becomes harmful not in isolation but when combined with a “fuel” and suggests looking at it with a more neutral perspective.
    • An introduction to the five domains of CE-CERT with conscious oversight at the core where neo-cortex-driven narratives are preferred over amygdala-generated ones.
    • How adopting empowering CE-CERT narratives aids in confronting and overcoming fear and stress.
  • How conscious narratives are often already pre-existing and influenced by factors like family and culture and differentiating between “little n” and “big n” narratives.
  • The need to update our conscious narratives instead of attempting to fix it with the video on the Three Happiness Myths to demonstrate how we can reframe our narratives.
  • The mutable nature of our narratives that are neither wrong nor right.
  • CE-CERT’s narrative continuum illustrates how narratives can be career-defeating, career-surviving, or career-sustaining and how CE-CERT aims to create a narrative that allows us to thrive and is sustainable.
  • How burnout is created by a closed system and the goal to create an open system where energy is expended and generated.
  • Debunking narratives we believe to get closer to a career-sustaining one and where the approaches to burnout used in helping professions fall in the continuum.
  • A CE-CERT exercise that demonstrates the impact of one’s absence to reinforce career-sustaining narratives that highlight the value of our work.
  • The narratives Dr. Gomez operates on and how it has evolved since.

Points raised during the Q&A are about:

  • How career narratives evolve or get reinforced over time.
  • The concept of moving from obligations to opportunities and its relevance for those who have served in demanding roles or situations.
  • Reflecting on our narratives and asking narrative-provoking questions.
  • Resources for learning how to update narratives.
  • The effectiveness of compartmentalization as a coping mechanism.


Other Webinars with this Speaker


Or click here to view and register for other upcoming Wellness and Mental Health webinars on the JCH Platform.


Resources and Handouts

Audience Comments

  • “This is one of the best, if not the best, seminars I have taken. The instructor’s firsthand experience was so beneficial to hear. I also enjoyed the fact that they were able to use humor to get their point across.”
  • “One of the best webinars I’ve attended! There was lots of relatability and great knowledge!”
  • “The Jimmy Stewart exercise was powerful and impactful. Though it was all really thought-provoking.”
  • “GREAT webinar – introduced many new resources to me that I will add to my toolbox!”
  • “The webinar was very specific in ways to decrease burnout, and how to rejuvenate oneself.
  • Excellent presenter! Very engaging and knowledgeable!”
  • “Dr. Michael, you kept me engaged and opened my mind to the narrative I tell myself. This training came at the exact right moment as I am really struggling with negative self-talk in the narrative I tell myself. THANK YOU! You are an exceptional teacher, keep up the good work!!”
  • “Dr. Gomez is fantastic. Thank you for having him on.”
  • “I loved this webinar, the trainer was very attentive and did a great job!”
  • “I really enjoyed this presentation. Very insightful information. Engaging presenter.”
  • “Great presentation. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your stories.”



This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit in Core 4 (Officer Wellness & Mental Health Awareness) for the State of Maine’s ACO annual training. You can find more information about Certification, required annual training or submitting materials for credit at Maine’s Animal Control Officer Resource Page.





Additional Resources
4 months ago
After the Webinar: Building Career Sustaining Narratives in the Face of Burnout. Q&A with Michael Gomez
Webinar presenter Dr. Michael Gomez answered a number of your questions after his presentation, Buil […]
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Thoughts about Trajectory and Destiny from Michael Gomez
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1 year ago
Thoughts on Self Care from Dr. Michael Gomez
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Beyond Self-Care: The CE-CERT model for Secondary Trauma and Burnout
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Self-Care for Justice Professionals
In 2012, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–V) rewrote the definition […]