First Responder Trauma

Our first responders are defined as any person, such as a police officer, firefighter, EMT, or any other official trained in urgent medical care and other emergency procedures who is prepared to provide life-saving measures and secure community safety in response to the scene of an accident, disaster, or other life-threatening circumstances.

First responders often experience stress that activates neurological survival systems in the body as a result of exposure to extreme circumstances generally related to feelings of helplessness, life or death, sadness, loss; and for professionals, includes a sense of duty, swift decision making, and/or crisis response in these complex situations.

Extreme experiences can result in problematic symptoms of psychological distress, including:

  • Muted or embellished compassion response.
  • Disturbing trauma responses such as flashbacks, nightmares, disconnection from others, troubled relationships, and post traumatic stress disorder.
  • Compassion fatigue and burnout.

Therapy for first responders can help relieve symptoms of trauma and reduce anxiety. We help first responders process and restructure past experiences to heal and promote resilience, and restore function and fulfillment in the workplace.