Compassion Training for Healthcare Workers - a half day workshop

Presented by Dr Debbie Ling.

Compassion is a relatively new area of research with fMRI studies showing compassion to be a positive state of mind and associated with feelings of warmth, concern, reward and affiliation. Compassion is now understood to boost the well-being of the giver and protect against burnout.


Monday 26 July 2021
10:00am - 1:00pm


Turning Point training rooms, Level 1, 110 Church Street, Richmond.

Free, please note that your registration will not be accepted if your organisation is not DH funded.


Compassion and empathy have been found to have different neural pathways. Empathy, in response to another’s suffering, can accidentally turn into empathic distress, which is an aversive self-focused reaction i.e. personal distress. This happens if a worker accidentally over identifies with the suffering of another or becomes distressed by the other’s suffering. Whereas compassion, is always a positive neural pathway and protective against empathic distress. The term “compassion fatigue” is now considered to actually be “empathic distress fatigue”. Compassion training is important for healthcare workers so they can learn how to avoid empathic distress.

The perception of common humanity has been proposed as a prerequisite for unbiased universal compassion. Training in common humanity helps healthcare workers have compassion towards anyone else. This half-day compassion training program helps healthcare workers learn strategies to cultivate compassion and common humanity, strengthen their own resilience, motivates prosocial actions and create more compassionate workplaces.


  • Learn about the latest research showing compassion to be a positive state of mind which enhances the well-being of the giver
  • Understand the difference between compassion, empathy, pity and sympathy
  • Learn strategies to enhance compassion and avoid empathic distress
  • Strengthen the perception of common humanity so that it’s becomes easier to cultivate compassion in day-to-day work
  • Learn strategies for managing when compassion is challenged

Register your details

Register here

Who should attend? Victorian DH funded AOD clinicians, counsellors, support workers and allied health.

Workshop content enquiries: Dr Debbie Ling: [email protected]

Please note that your registration will not be accepted if your organisation is not DH funded, places are limited in these free workshops, if you register and don't attend, a fee will be invoiced to your organisation

About the presenter

Dr Debbie Ling is a Lecturer in the Department of Social Work, Monash University and a Research Fellow in the Epworth Monash Rehabilitation Medicine Research Unit. Debbie’s PhD research developed, trialled and evaluated a single session compassion training intervention focusing on common humanity which has attracted international attention. The compassion training has been delivered to hundreds of healthcare workers around Australia. Debbie’s work has been published internationally and presented at conferences in the UK, USA and Ireland.

Debbie sits on the Australian Compassion Council, Charter for Compassion Australia and is a member of the Australia21 Mindful Futures Network Advisory Group. Debbie is also a Senior Clinician Social Worker at Epworth HealthCare and an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with a bulk bill private counselling practice.

More information

If you have enquiries regarding registration please contact student administration on (03) 8413 8413.

Subscribe to our mailing list to be notified of upcoming events.