December 14, 2021
Department of Family Social Science Professor Tai Mendenhall built upon Dr. Pauline Boss’s November 9 discussion about our contemporary stressors and troubled times. In the session, Tai described how—despite knowing that attention to our own self-care and (inter)personal well-being is essential—practicing what we preach is easier said than done. Drawing from efforts advanced through undergraduate, graduate, and medical residency teaching, clinical practice, and trauma-response teams, Tai articulated common symptoms of burnout and compassion fatigue. He then described empirically proven strategies that harness our resources across individual, couple/family, and social-systems continua. Participants received tangible resources and tools to facilitate biopsychosocial/spiritual health.
Tai Mendenhall is a Professor in the Couple and Family Therapy Program at the University of Minnesota (UMN) in the Department of Family Social Science. He is an adjunct professor and clinician in the UMN’s Department of Family Medicine & Community Health, and the Director of the Mental Health response-teams in the UMN’s Medical Reserve Corps. Tai teaches courses in integrated behavioral medicine, traumatic stress, emergency-response teams, intimate relationships, and burnout/compassion-fatigue prevention and recovery. In scholarship, he works actively in community-based participatory research (CBPR) focused on a variety of public health issues.