Barbara Rubel’s motivating programs for clinicians, victim services providers, first responders, and educators, focus on building resilience and self-care. Barbara’s humorous and upbeat style offers a delightful composite of experience, research and practical application that promotes self-compassion and wellness.


Read reflections from event participants and organizers.

View keynote from 2017 delivered to the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance.

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Building FABULOUS Resilience

Barbara encourages ways to build FABULOUS resilience through eight characteristics of resilience: flexibility, positive attitude, maintaining boundaries, understanding job satisfaction, laughter, optimism, being united, and self-compassion.

The eight foundational skills for the FABULOUS Principle are:

Flexibility: build a resilient mind-set by being less rigid and adapt to work-life challenges:

Attitude: evaluate stressors and behave positively as a result of being engaged and a good fit for your job;

Boundaries: balance, monitor, and maintain limits of acceptable workplace behavior;

Understanding job satisfaction: gain gratification and pleasure from your profession;

Laughter: maintain a sense of humor to manage a stressful workplace;

Optimism: think positively and realistically to anticipate the best possible outcome;

United: cultivate personal and professional relationships that increase well-being; and

Self-compassion: express loving kindness to yourself every single day

Vicarious Trauma in Judges and Court Personnel

Who this is for:

  • Judges
  • Attorneys
  • Stenographic court reporters
  • Court coordinators

This engaging and interactive presentation will take judges and those who work in the courts through eight characteristics of resilience. Judges, attorneys, court coordinators are often exposed to traumatic material, stressful litigation, and highly emotional cases. They can be negatively impacted and experience burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. During this program, the audience will identify eight self-care techniques to increase their job satisfaction and recognize their character strengths, that build professional resilience.

Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma: Eight FABULOUS Strategies to Increase Personal Resilience

Who this is for:

  • Clinicians
  • Healthcare Professionals
  • First Responders
  • Crisis Workers
  • Clergy
  • Professional Caregivers

Job burnout, secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma can take its toll on professionals. This interactive presentation will take the audience through the FABULOUS Principle, which suggests eight characteristics of resilience. Attendees will increase their awareness of how to practice self-care by putting their character strengths into practice. They will have fun while learning about ways to survive and thrive their stressful careers.

Keynotes and Trainings

Helping Your Workforce Become More Resilient

The Four Main Keynote Topics Include:

1.  Clinician and Caregiver Burnout

2. Vicarious Trauma in Judges and Court Personnel

3. Enhancing Teacher Resistance

4. Vicarious Trauma in Victim Services Providers

Learn More about Keynote Topics

Health and Wellness

Breakout Sessions

Barbara is an incredibly motivating keynote speaker and expert trainer on the impact of traumatic loss on professionals. While Barbara’s keynotes and trainings focus on professional well being, her breakout sessions educate professionals about traumatic loss. These programs include:

  • Coping With Traumatic Loss in the Workplace: Drug Misuse Death, Accident, and Suicide
  • Palette of Grief®: Tool that Captures Your Client’s Grief Reactions
  • But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide
  • Serving Victims of Crime: Through the Lens of Thanatology and Criminology
Book Barbara to Speak

Speaking Topics Include:

Overcoming Burnout, Secondary Traumatic Stress, or Vicarious Trauma in School Communities

Who this is for:

  • Teachers
  • School counselors
  • School nurses
  • School administrators

This interactive presentation will take attendees through the eight characteristics of the FABULOUS principle, that school district staff must go through to create a healthy workplace. School districts are facing stressors that increase burnout, secondary traumatic stress, and vicarious trauma. School budgets, being bullied or threatened at work, and workplace conditions contribute to burnout. School districts are managing secondary traumatic stress due to domestic violence, sexual assaults, suicides, homicides, and drug misuse deaths. School administrators and staff may be facing their own family crisis and loss. This interactive professional development program will help attendees manage the impact of both personal and professional loss.

Vicarious Trauma in Victim Services Providers

Who this is for:

  • Victim/witness advocates
  • Victim witness services coordinators
  • Protective services agents
  • Case management specialists
  • Restorative justice facilitators

Those who work in victim services are often impacted by the stories they hear. Being empathetic and compassionate, they can experience compassion fatigue. They can also experience vicarious trauma, which can impact their health and mental health. This program will focus on building personal resilience. As victim services providers identify their character strengths, they will learn ways to put them into practice to build their personal resilience.





Health and




Traumatic Loss in the Workplace: Drug Misuse Death, Accident, Suicide

Whether an attendee personally experienced a drug misuse death, a suicide, homicide, or accident, works with a bereaved person, or manages a bereaved worker, this program will help them understand the needs of a compassionate workplace when tragedy strikes. The key to preventing a traumatic death from having an impact on an employee’s wellbeing is the collaboration between human resource professionals, leaders, managers and employees. Valuable tools and strategies for private employers or comprehensive workplace programs that identify the significance of an organizational planning group and the bereavement policy planning process.

Palette of Grief®: Tool that Captures Your Client’s Grief Reactions 

Imagine meeting a new bereaved client and being able to quickly attune to their grief process and actually see their emotional, cognitive, physical, behavioral, and spiritual reactions. Your sessions can now be extremely effective because you have a tool, a Palette of Grief®, that visually captures your client’s grief reactions.  As the audience learns to differentiate the major models of mourning as they relate to managing grief after a drug misuse death, suicide, or homicide, they will be given a Palette of Grief®, to use with their traumatically bereaved patients who may have manipulative thoughts or have a failure in emotional regulation. Grief is not a mental illness to be treated. Rather, it is a normal process that at times, when it gets complicated, requires professional assistance.

But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide 

This presentation is based on Barbara’s bestselling book of the same name. The program is designed for professionals who work with those bereaved by suicide. Review the research on grief, bereavement, and mourning and identify practical ways to help survivors of suicide loss manage traumatic grief. Understand the significance of meaning-making, post-traumatic growth and resilience after a suicide. Walk away with tools and strategies to help patients and clients manage their suicide loss. As a suicide-loss survivor and thanatologist, Barbara shares her personal story and her expertise to give audiences the tools they need to help suicide-loss survivors.

Helping Victims of Crime Through the Lens of Thanatology Mitigates the Impact of Vicarious Trauma

If you work with grief-stricken victims of crime, this program is for you.  It is stressful working with homicide survivors, victims of sexual assault, and victims of domestic violence. The audience will identify ways to support distressed, bereaved and traumatized victims and understand how determinants of grief influence the way victims navigate the criminal justice system. As a thanatologist, Barbara Rubel, will explore the challenges of working with grief-stricken victims of crime and how to mitigate the impact of vicarious trauma.

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