First Responders. As people who run toward an emergency rather than away, who remain calm under circumstances that would normally be overwhelming, and who face repeated exposure to stress events, first responders require a tailored approach to counseling. Special considerations for First Responders in a clinical setting include: the difference between traumatic events, stress events, and the accumulation of chronic stress; relationships and the work to home transition; concerns about feeling too little or feeling too much; and delineating between skills that are helpful on shift and at home. Working with first responders it is key to help people be able to receive the pressure valve while maintaining the ability to perform job duties. My first experience in this community was at the 9/11 Mental Health Program of Safe Horizon, and later as the Clinical Director of Friends of Firefighters in Brooklyn, NY. It is an honor to continue serve this community.
Critical Incident Debriefings. I have conducted Critical Incident Debriefings for the Laramie Police Department, the Albany County Sherrif’s Department, and the Wyoming Highway Patrol. In critical incident work my aim is to have people leave the session feeling more resilient, more connected to themselves and their families, and with a greater sense of grounding and clarity. After 9/11 people discovered that the standard model of Critical Incident work needed to be re-evaluated. I bring skills and experience of working to help people regulate their nervous system and increase their empowerment in self care as well as processing the incident itself.
Wellness Sessions. Wellness sessions are designed to reduce the impacts of accumulated chronic stress, and help equip our first responders with the capacity to do an "all systems check" on themselves as they would their equipment. Information is shared about the nervous system in the brain and body, the impacts of chronic and repeated stress as well as sleep deprivation, and accessible tools are taught and practiced.
I have taught these sessions at the Laramie Police Department, the Laramie Fire Department and the Cheyenne Fire Department, and at the Game Warden's Conference in Cheyenne in 2018.
Individual Sessions and Employee Assistance Programs. I see many people for individual sessions through the county and city Employee Assistance Programs, as well as through Post and Associates. Sessions are always focused on assessing the immediate need, introducing tools that can be used right away at home and work, and when appropriate, EMDR is a fast and effective treatment approach for resolving issues of trauma and chronic stress.