Counseling for First Responders
Day in and day out, you see it all. The terrible car accidents with broken bodies, experiencing the vicarious trauma of family members mourning the death of someone you were trying to save, seeing things you never realized that others were capable of, and the loss of life in situations you didn't/couldn't expect.
Yes, you have seen this before, but now it is not so easy. You know you will continue to see it over and over again, and it might be starting to weigh on you. Maybe you find it's hard to get to work, not even wanting to do the work anymore, or experiencing a saltiness you never realized you were capable of feeling. You try to do anything to keep yourself from thinking about all the evil and darkness you have seen, trying to escape it however you can because you can't tell anyone about it. How can you even begin to explain what it is you are dealing with?
A common challenge in seeking therapy for first responder's is finding a culturally competent mental health professional. Many first responders have been challenged with spending too much time explaining the logistics of their work (job duties, ranks, scheduling, what the "day to day grind" is), and are provided with inaccurate diagnosis, which then leads to inappropriate treatment. Additionally, it can be difficult to find a provider who can hear about the hard calls, while holding space for you in a way that doesn't cause you the feeling of being a burden weighing them down. This often times leads to feeling unheard, misunderstood, hopeless, and alone. You deserve specialized care and treatment. Having a culturally competent therapist can make a dramatic difference in your therapeutic experience. Meeting with someone who knows and understands shift work including the biological changes that occur during that work and how they impact you. Someone who understands that dark humor is not only beneficial, but is part of the job. A provider who gets the types of calls you go on, the exposures to danger and traumas, and knows the challenges of transitioning from work mode to home mode especially after the extremely long shifts is incredibly valuable.
As a mental health professional and the wife of a paramedic who works within a fire department, I have personal as well as professional experience with the unique challenges first responders and their families have, in addition to how those challenges can affect various aspects of your life. I am passionate about comprehensive treatment that addresses the unique mental and behavioral health concerns related to being a first responder. You can feel confident in my being knowledgeable about the unique aspects and culture of your job. Your life is full of "lower-case trauma" (the daily grind including frequent flyers, and stress from higher-ups), and "upper-case trauma" (the low frequency/high acuity calls). My goal is to create a space where you can talk about these experiences without judging yourself or your response to them.
For more information, please visit the resources page for links or contact me today for a free phone consultation.