Therapy for First Responders
Do you run in, when everyone runs out? Do you think that it’s not normal to talk about your feelings? Does your relationship suffer because you don’t want to burden your family at night with your problems and work stress?
We understand first responders. At Wright Choice Counseling, we have extensive history working as and or around both military and first responders. First responders give all day, and struggle when they come home with an empty cup. We know that your relationship is different, which is why we created the course Happy and Connected Couples, specifically focused on how Helpers Love Differently, click here for that!
Jessica has worked in Department of Corrections for 3+ years, as well as her family members. Her husband is a Air Force veteran. Cassie, did her college practicum in Department of Corrections and both come with years of helping others experience. This by no means makes them an expert on your life, but it does make them unique therapists that will not judge you! They understand how hard it was to come to counseling and how your partner probably suggested for years that you should “go talk to someone” and now you’re ready!
Because of their experience, they do therapy specifically for first responders and other service providers, such as mental health workers, social workers, and others in helper or caregiving roles. EMDR and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are both excellent therapy techniques for those who have been dealing with unprocessed or repeated trauma. Check out this quick video on how EMDR works to dim the lights on what you have been through.
First Responders have many similar issues when they FINALLY come to counseling (the finally added is on purpose..it often takes along time for them to come in):
- Burnout, wishing you could quit and go on vacation and never come back
- Compassion Fatigue, basically feeling exhausted from helping everyone else
- Second-Hand Trauma, your stressful/traumatic experiences that you may still think about or struggle with
- Chaotic and Stressful Work Environments
- Lack of Sleep, Long Hours and Overnight Shifts
- Feeling Misunderstood, Unseen, and Unheard by Your Partner
- Difficulty Maintaining Work/Life Balance
- Those That Feel Like They’ve Tried Everything and It Hasn’t Worked
- You Don’t Want to Tell The Stories out of fear of reliving them
- Fear of losing their FOID card from reaching out, just because you’re reaching out doesn’t mean you lose your FOID card. Psychiatric stays with imminent harm to self, others or grave disabilities (from our experience) is when people must have FOID deactivated until they can be deemed to be safe again.
What are the First Few Therapy Sessions Like for First Responders?
When you’re used to helping everyone else, we know it is SUPER awkward talking about your problems to someone else, let alone a stranger. We want you to feel comfortable first, that is our #1 goal.
In first and second sessions: we will work on making you feel comfortable, bring your dog, coffee and a blanket (we promise it’s not weird because it’s online!) We will go through our intake paperwork that you have filled out and ask follow up questions. We will set goals and talk about strengths and challenges in your current life. We will talk about how long we think the counseling work will take and how often and agree to working together. We will assign homework to help you with your goals which can include: writing, reading books to help you, exercising if possible between sessions, etc.
If there are any concerns of safety we will safety plan with you and a person who can help keep you safe.