Robert Wicks speaks at Fordham University/Photo courtesy Fordham University

Expert on secondary stress coming to Immaculate Heart for Retreat, Fundraiser


In November, the Immaculate Heart Retreat Center will conduct both a fundraiser as well as a retreat aimed at overcoming ‘secondary stress.’

The weekend-long retreat will be lead by Robert Wicks, an author, psychologist and speaker, and an expert on secondary stress, a phenomenon that he has focused on for 30 years in an extensive career in education and social work. He has also spoken at the NATO Intelligence Fusion Center in England, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Harvard’s Children’s Hospital, Harvard Divinity School, and many other locations.

Wicks described exactly what secondary stress is at length in a phone interview with Michael Pallardy, the IHRC’s development officer.

What is secondary stress?

“Secondary stress represents the precious experience of reaching out to others,” Wicks said. “You see, when you are close to someone you not only run the risk of maybe catching their colds we also can run the risk of catching their sense of pessimism, finality and hopelessness.”

Throughout this weekend-long event, Wicks plans to offer his own solutions for coping with secondary stress through relationships, prayer, and resilience. The weekend retreat will take place from Nov. 8 – 10, and the fundraiser event will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 9.

The retreat itself is silent and will take place at the IHRC, 6910 S. Ben Burr Road. Tickets are $204 per person with lodging, $318 for couples, and $118 for commuters. The Hope, Peace, and Healing Fundraiser will take place at Gonzaga University’s Hemmingson Center, and is free of charge. Those who wish to attend are encouraged to register early, as space will be limited.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Wicks come,” said Pallardy. “This is truly a program for everyone.”

Wicks echoed this sentiment in his phone interview.

“I think [the retreat] is meant for any of us who really care about living a rich meaningful life,” he said.

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