First Responders

The First Responder Community

You have worked hard to have your career. Your skills and heart have taken you through some pretty outstanding experiences. Some people refer to you as a “hero,” but you certainly don’t see yourself that way. You see yourself as someone who chose an honorable career to help others with integrity and professionalism.

Now you are thinking it might be a good time to touch bases with someone who you can talk to about the experiences you have had and the sense of caring a little too much about others. Or you are wanting to talk with someone about the care you once had and now, don’t seem to have any longer. After all, you have seen and helped people with “real problems” and “real tragedies.”

You want someone to talk to your partner or family members and explain to them the perspective you now have on life. Talking to them about the things you have seen or the thoughts and dreams you sometimes have is not anything you are ever interested in doing. After all, if you could just erase the visions from your brain, you would be happy to do it yourself. But now you know it is time to get a bit of help from someone who can assist you and your family. Helping others was never supposed to hurt you or your family. You want to figure out a better way to manage and have skills to help your family and you better communicate through the isolation you sometimes feel even in your own family.

And sometimes you need some relief. EMDR Intensives can provide relief quickly for the first responder who wants relief quickly. This could be due to cumulative stress from years on the job or from a recent critical incident.

I have taught at the CHP Academy, presented resilient trainings for California District Attorneys Association, Cal-Fire, and other Law Enforcement Agencies. I also have helped train peer support for law enforcement agencies, as well as do Critical Incident Stress Debriefings regularly.

I often tell my Law Enforcement Officers, Fire Fighters and Front-Line workers that just because your agency doesn't see the call you were on as a critical incident, doesn't mean it wasn't a Critical Incident to you.

The dreams, irritability, intrusive thoughts when you drive past an area where a tough call took place don't have to be things that you just live with the rest of your career or the rest of your life.

EMDR Intensives have been effective in removing the "edge" or sometimes even the physical reaction from the call(s). I have had the honor of working with some outstanding officers, fire fighters and frontline workers to provide the relief. They soon report feeling lighter and less irritable with others. And, very often, the dreams and intrusive thoughts are gone.

You will have the option of taking short trainings on trainings on Compassion Fatigue, Post Traumatic Stress Injury and Resiliency Skills. You will also have the option of participating in the course "Living Your Resilient Identity" and/or "Holding On To Happy" at a discounted rate.

Sometimes your agency and/or foundations will help pay for these services. Your agency, your EAP services, or your workman's compensation may pay for these services.

The EMDR packages I offer include:

  • A Pre-Intensive consultation to determine the appropriateness for an EMDR intensive. We will determine the goals  you wish to achieve and have you take some tests regarding depression and anxiety.
  • A customized EMDR Intensive workbook designed specifically for you to work on your goals before, during, and after our sessions.
  • A customized program with targeted goals for our time together.  These goals can be relief from anxiety, intrusive memories of traumatic events, or overcoming hurdles in your personal and business life.
  • A Post-Intensive follow-up session to assess your progress and support you as you integrate the changes you experience from our work together
  • The choice of three programs are available: 
    • Package A - Half Day EMDR Intensive (Pre & Post Sessions, 3 Hours Face to Face, Customized Workbook & Testing)
    • Package B - 3-Day Weekday EMDR Intensive (Pre & Post Sessions, 9 Hours Face to Face either in the mornings or afternoon, Customized Workbook & Testing);
    • Package C - 3-Day Weekend Intensive Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday (Pre & Post Sessions, 3 Hours Face to Face, Customized Workbook & Testing)
    • Each day includes 3 hours of an Intensive EMDR session

I believe it is vital for first responders to work with therapists who are familiar with their jobs and the affects their jobs have on their relationships. The awareness of how the people operate when the they are experiencing their worst days is something a first responder is confronted with daily. The body taking on adrenaline on a regular basis, the shift work, and the trauma you sometimes encounter all show up in your relationships. This is a normal occurrence. When the effects begin to interfere too much in your relationships or job, it is time to speak with a professional who can help you reset your system and help you gain back the enthusiasm you once had for your job. I have received, and continue to get, specialized training to be as effective as possible with first responders and their families.