First Responder Psychological Support discusses a wide variety of counseling and self-care education topics for firefighters, law enforcement, dispatchers, and emergency room professionals. Sarah is a licensed clinical professional counselor in the State of Illinois and specializes in treating first responders.
Did you recently experience a bad call at your department or while on duty? Listen to this podcast to learn about the first 24-72 hours. You’ll learn about acute stress disorder, what’s normal, and what trauma therapists may start off with for suggestions (self care).
Scott and I have presented and consulted with each other about first responder behavioral health in the past. We’re both happy to provide another discussion for “food for thought” regarding this near and dear topic.
I define addiction and the scale: use, misuse, abuse, tolerance, addiction, dependence, withdrawal. I emphasize how addiction is a self-love deficit and that you have to treat addiction like it’s a wound you have to heal (not ignore, deny, minimize, or numb).
As I plan to outline Season 3 (with more interviews and specific information about different mental health symptoms and diagnoses), I have been noticing what I keep repeating in therapy sessions. This episode covers 11 ideas that I revisit with first responders OFTEN.
When you’re worried, and you can’t sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep (and listen to the Little Drummer Boy). You’ll fall asleep. Haha! Many people ask me for “tips and tricks” for how to cope. My favorite answer is explained in the Little Drummer Boy lyrics. https://youtu.be/0w3dhTejMI0
This is my most yogi, Buddhist Psychology podcast yet. But! We spent Season 1 talking about trauma and introductory information about the psychology of first responder careers. Somewhere, in the midst of this insanity -I wanted to introduce knowing and loving yourself through it all.
Patty and I have our first public conversation about our careers with First Responders. We discuss our wish for policy and our hopes for the future of first psychological support. https://insightandconnection.com/
Season 1 is over! 12 of 12 episodes are complete; and I recap the highlights for you. I also have some ending thoughts about first responder psychological support for your consideration. I invite you to listen in for Season 2!
In this episode, I use $100 words that explain your brain structures and functions. I explain the brain’s process of taking in stressful, overwhelming, and/or traumatic experiences -and how human it is (aka how normal it is) to have a reaction to upsetting information/exposures. My dogs hijack us at the end.
I discuss how I initially started treating first responder traumas. I introduce my use of Francine Shapiro’s EMDR/AIP Model, as well as other therapy processes. Resource: emdria.org for more information and a national registry of EMDR therapists.
In this episode, I describe how I assess you & your trauma. I define 3 categories of trauma, including: complex trauma (under 21yo), PTSD (critical incident or potentially traumatic event) and trauma (repetition compulsion/reliving or recreating trauma).
This podcast discusses the sensitive and controversial topic of how you cause your own suffering by not being conscious of repetition compulsion. Humans make several seemingly unimportant decisions that amount to us reliving our traumas.
In previous podcasts, I provided a vocabulary for identifying how first responders are in pain, and how I have noticed they react to pain. This episode provides an introduction for how to respond to pain.
I remind you that you have everything you need to succeed. I explain you have two sources of knowledge (head and heart) that must be aligned; and I discuss how time & mental health are relevant to each other. This podcast starts the explanation for how to cope with everything (yes, everything) in life.
After the intro podcast and sharing signs & symptoms, I wanted to plant the seed for how we “Make it Safe” in your department to have a psychological support culture. I also review what should be in your resource folder on a shared drive for everyone to have access to at your department.
This podcast reviews behavioral health as an occupational issue. Vocabulary covered: PTE, SIC, suicide ideation levels, types of trauma, vicarious trauma, trauma bonding, empath/co-dependent and compassion fatigue, and relationship concerns.
This first segment explains my journey to becoming a first responder therapist, and how I got to this point in my career. The following episodes will dive right into first responder behavioral health topics.