Helpers are born, and they are made. An individual’s inherent qualities, shaped by their life experiences and early relationships, create an individual who is called to help. These individuals find value and meaning in helping and often go above and beyond for the people they help. Their reasons for becoming a helper interact with the prevalent societal expectation that helpers should sacrifice their well-being for those they serve.

In this two-hour continuing education web conference, Katie Vernoy, LMFT will explain how Sacrificial Helping Syndrome (SHS)--a classification she coined to describe helpers who sacrifice their own needs and well-being for others--can lead to burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma in clinicians and their clients. If unchecked, these can lead to much worse personal, professional, and societal outcomes. 

Katie will discuss causes and symptoms of SHS, so clinicians can identify these within themselves as well as the people they work with in therapy. Further, Katie will explore the clinical, legal, and ethical implications of therapists falling prey to self-sacrificing behaviors. Katie will also discuss tactics to combat burnout and vicarious traumatization, which are appropriate for clinicians as well as the people they work with in therapy.

This introductory instructional level web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. Describe Sacrificial Helping Syndrome (SHS), including key causes, symptoms, and impacts on client care.

  2. Explain burnout, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and consequences related to SHS in clinicians and clients.

  3. List three common negative outcomes of SHS, including clinical, ethical, and legal impacts on clients and their treatment outcomes.

  4. Utilize four strategies to combat SHS and its common outcomes to ensure best practices with clients.

  5. Design a plan for self-care and improved clinical practice.

If you have questions, please contact us here.

How the Web Conference Works

Before the scheduled event, all registered attendees will be sent a reminder email from GoodTherapy with specific instructions on how to log in to the web conference center, as well as links to optional handout materials if applicable. 

To attend the event, registered attendees will log in to the web conference center using a computer or device (smartphone or tablet with internet access) and calling in to the teleconference line on a phone. Attendees will be able to ask live audio questions via phone and/or submit text chat questions via their computer or device. Attendees who are logged in to the event center will be able to see live streaming video and/or document sharing. Alternatively, attendees may dial in to the teleconference line only, though attendees dialing in by phone only will be unable to ask questions. 

At the conclusion of this event, participants will receive an email with information about how to request a CE certificate in the GoodTherapy Member's Area. To confirm attendance, participants must enter the start and end codes announced at the beginning and end of the live presentation. Participants will also be prompted to complete an online survey evaluating the event. Participants will need to complete this online survey within six days after the event. Once completed, participants will be able to download a copy of their CE certificate instantly. 

For additional information about this event or our CE grievance procedures, please contact us here

Continuing Education (CE) Information

2 CE contact hours will be provided by GoodTherapy for attending this web conference in its entirety. 

GoodTherapy is an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within Counseling Services. 

GoodTherapy is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.

This organization, GoodTherapy, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. GoodTherapy maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: March 30, 2016 through March 30, 2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive two clinical continuing education clock hours.

GoodTherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content. received APA approval in May 2011. Events after 2011 may meet APA requirements for Continuing Education credits.

GoodTherapy, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

GoodTherapy, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

Registration Information

Premium and Pro Membership with GoodTherapy includes access to this web conference at no additional cost. Not yet a member? Sign up for a Premium or Pro Membership, here.

Mental health professionals who are not members can attend this live web conference for $29.95 or access the homestudy recording for $14.95. Sign up here to purchase this CE course and earn a CE certificate.

Event Reviews from Members

Meet the Presenter

Katie Vernoy, LMFT

Katie Vernoy, LMFT is a therapist, coach, consultant, and speaker based in California. Her experience spans many roles in the mental health field including clinician, program coordinator, director, clinical supervisor, hiring manager, and recruiter.

Katie founded Evolve to Thrive Coaching and Consulting to support leaders, visionaries, and helping professionals to create meaningful and sustainable careers. Katie provides coaching and business strategy to support passionate people in pursuing their mission to help others while avoiding a common trap, Sacrificial Helping Syndrome.

Additionally, Katie has partnered with Curt Widhalm, LMFT to develop The Modern Therapist's Survival Guide podcast, continuing education workshops, and the new professional conference Therapy Reimagined 2018, which focuses on helping therapists navigate the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also actively engaged in advocacy for mental health and helping professionals, currently serving as President-Elect for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. For more information about Katie and her work, please visit