First Responders Counseling

First Responders Counseling

Are you struggling with stress or communication issues in your relationship? 

Do you use alcohol or other substances to deal with the stress of your job?

Is it hard to reconnect with your loved ones after a 48 hour shift? 

Could You or Your Family Benefit from First Responder Trauma Therapy?

Seeking out trauma therapy could be the hardest but the best thing you’ll ever do. You’re usually the one doing the helping. You keep our communities safe and rescue those in danger. You’re our community heroes and we thank you for your service.

We also recognize you experience some of the most difficult, dangerous and heartbreaking scenarios a person can go through (sometimes more than just first responder stress). And these really tough times can stay ingrained in your mind long after the smoke has cleared, the accident is over or the patient is hurriedly rushed off to the hospital.

You are our hero and always will be. But you’re still human. Recognizing that fact doesn’t diminish your power. Surprisingly, it unleashes it. At Valencia Relationship Institute, we well understand the fears first responders when seeking trauma help. This is especially true since we have close family members who are first responders. This is also the case because of our experience of working with trauma survivors.

You may be afraid you’ll be viewed as ‘weak’ or ‘not strong enough’ to continue your important work if you get help. That’s not how we see it. We’re here for you to assist you in properly working through any grief or trauma you may have. That way, you can continue being you. You can keep being there for those who need you most: Your family and those you bravely serve while on the job.

Common Delayed Symptoms of First Responder Trauma 

With any traumatic event there are immediate and delayed reactions that can take place. This helpful chart by the National Institute of Health shows that the immediate and delayed symptoms you may experience can be many. Some of the delayed symptoms can include:

  • Depression
  • Instability or mood swings
  • Anger, hostility, and/or irritability
  • Anxiety (either general anxiety or a phobia)
  • Shame
  • Worry the trauma will happen again
  • Nightmares or sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Obsession or preoccupation with the trauma
  • Flashbacks or intrusive memories
  • Suicidal thoughts

Trauma affects the entire person. That includes physically, emotionally, thought-wise (cognitively), behaviorally, and existentially. Numerous delayed trauma responses tend to exist at once, which only complicates matters.  For that reason, it is always wise to seek first responder counseling or PTSD treatment from a trained trauma counselor.

First Responder Trauma Therapy for Firefighters and their Families

Firefighter in storage room with fire hoses

Although the immediate trauma reactions lessen shortly after the actual event is over, there are delayed responses to trauma firefighters experience long after the flames are extinguished. If undealt with, these trauma responses can plague you for months and years after the trauma has occurred.

Some tragic events firefighters go through can lead to trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As a firefighter, you fully understand the risks and rewards of your job. Still, the difficulty of some events can take you by surprise. Yes, the immediate effects of trauma including physical and mental struggle will dissipate once the event is over. That doesn’t mean the event is necessarily over in your mind or body, however.

Are you a firefighter who could benefit from trauma therapy? If so, you can schedule an appointment with Valencia Relationship Institute today and find evidence-based ways to overcome your fire rescue trauma. Your family can also benefit from our services.

First Responder Trauma Counseling for Medical Responders and their Families 

Hand of the doctor with defibrillator. Teams of the Emergency medical service are responding to an traffic accident.

As a medical first responder, you’re trained to handle every medical emergency that comes your way. You know how to give the best care to your patients and how to ensure the best chances of their survival. When these emergencies take place, there is no time for emotion, only action. To get personally wrapped up in a scenario could put lives at risk.

Although that’s true at the moment of the event, it’s important to realize that trauma can visit you despite your training later on. Delayed trauma symptoms can linger long after the human tragedy and struggle are over. This also can have an impact on your family and co-workers if you continue to struggle whether you’re a first responder paramedic or ambulance first responder.

Whether you need individual counseling, family therapy, couples’ therapy or an agency focus, Valencia Relationship Institute is here for you as you process your trauma. There is hope because you don’t have to stay stuck indefinitely in that trauma cycle. You can schedule an appointment with us today and begin working through your grief and healing.

First Responder Trauma Therapy for Law Enforcement Responders and their Families 

Police officers standing together close up

Right along with firefighters and medical first responders, the risks of experiencing trauma are very real as a police first responder. Day in and day out, you feel the burden to keep the community you serve safe. And despite your training, there are some events no human being can be mentally prepared for.

You’re armed for good reason and you don’t wear that bullet-proof vest for ‘looks’. But what happens when a tragic event bothers you long after it is over? That’s something physical protection can’t ward off. The temptation for all trauma victims is to self-medicate the pain away and some of those ways aren’t always healthy.

Self-medicating also doesn’t get to the root of the struggle—ruminating about the event long after it’s over. Through trauma counseling and methods such as CBT therapy (cognitive behavioral therapy), your therapist can help you overcome reliving your trauma and the resulting adverse symptoms. You, your family and agency can all be adversely affected by trauma. If you’re struggling, you can schedule an appointment with us today.

You Can Emerge Stronger from Your First Responder Trauma

More than anything, despite how you’re feeling at the moment, it’s important to realize there is hope. The struggle you currently experience because of your trauma can get much better by properly addressing it.

Just as you wouldn’t let a physical wound fester without treating it, the same goes for mental and emotional wounds resulting from trauma. Simply going on like everything is normal or trying to ignore your grief won’t work over the long haul. In fact, it will only intensify the struggle later on.

First responder trauma responses have nothing to do with weakness. Each of us, despite our coping skills, are limited. One of our limitations is that we can experience traumatic situations that, regardless of our age, inner strength or training can be too much to handle on our own.

We hope this message eliminates any fear of judgment or stigma you may feel about getting help for your first responder trauma. Our Valencia Relationship Center staff is trained to help you.

There is no better time than now for you to get the help you need. You can conveniently and confidentially schedule an appointment with us. We are here for California first responders, specifically providing crisis counseling in Valencia, CA and Burbank/Toluca Lake, CA.