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Therapy for First Responders

Therapy for first responders - 11th Hour Trauma Retreat

First responders are trained professionals who arrive first on the scene to help and assist during medical emergencies, natural disasters, accidents, etc. Some examples of first responders include EMTs, firefighters, police officers, medical personnel, and others.

First responders may have different titles, but they pretty much experience the same thing一face countless traumatic events. These people dive head-first into dangerous and intense situations every day. They experience and see pain, suffering, grief, and loss on a daily basis. 

therapy for first responders

Unfortunately, constant exposure to traumatic events tend to take a negative toll on one’s mental and emotional health. If left unaddressed, it can develop into a full-blown trauma or mental disorder, such as PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder.

But there is light at the end of this tunnel. At 11th Hour Trauma Retreat, we will help you get the treatment you need and be with you every step of the way. 

We strive to provide collaborative, evidence-based therapies so that first responders, their families, and those who have suffered from trauma can heal and live the life they chose. If you are interested in our PTSD therapy for first responders, do not hesitate to contact us now.

What is PTSD in first responders?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health illness that can develop when a person gets exposed to a frightening or very stressful event. It is a lifelong consequence of experiencing or witnessing traumatic situations that may cause intense feelings of fear, helplessness, anxiety, and horror.

Since first responders are repeatedly exposed to such events, it’s no surprise that they are at a high risk of developing PTSD and other mental health disorders, such as trauma. Here are some research-based numbers to consider:

  • About 400,000 first responders experience one or more symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • PTSD occurs in about 1 in 5 people in the general population. However, it happens more frequently among first responders, which is approximately 1 in 3 people.
  • Nearly 37% of first responders experience suicidal ideation一a number that is almost ten times the rate of suicidal ideation in the general population.
  • Studies suggest that trauma exposure is associated with the development of PTSD, depression, and substance abuse. 

First responders with PTSD have been steadily increasing as the years go by. It is a serious health issue for our unsung heroes since the illness can cause several debilitating physical, mental, and emotional symptoms. 

Why do first responders with PTSD need therapy?

first responder ptsd treatment programs

A huge percentage of first responders in America experience the symptoms of PTSD. However, only a few actually seek a medical professional to get a proper diagnosis and undergo first responder PTSD treatment programs. This is due to a lot of factors, such as medical costs, stigma, lack of time, and lack of treatment availability. 

Despite these contributing factors, the most difficult barrier to overcome is the decision to open up and seek therapy for first responders. 

But treatments do work, especially the evidence-based programs we offer at 11th Hour Trauma Retreat. Here’s how our therapeutic techniques can benefit your overall health and wellness:

  • Reduce the intensity and frequency of symptoms, such as intrusive thoughts, reliving the trauma, avoidance, emotional reactivity, and changes in mood and cognition. 
  • Process and make sense of the trauma.
  • Learn healthy coping mechanisms to better manage your mood, behavior, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Bring back emotional connection and relationships with loved ones.
  • Improve performance in other life aspects, such as at work or school.

Most first responders with PTSD will avoid thinking and talking about their trauma. That’s why seeking medical help has always been the hardest. 

So, if you or a loved one currently experiences any mental distress, then we encourage you to reach out. Contact us at 772 837 5988 to learn about our comprehensive therapy programs and how they can help you regain a quality life. 

What are the different PTSD treatments for first responders?

Every treatment facility offers different types of treatment programs and therapy for their clients. 11th Hour Trauma Retreat provides two types of program options:

  • An individual intensive program

wherein the patient will undergo one-on-one sessions with our trained counselors and specialists. You will receive intensive therapy for at least three to five hours each day, which may last for one to two weeks. 

  • A group program 
group program for first responders

wherein the client will receive therapy together with other people who deal with similar mental health issues. This aims to help patients develop self-awareness, reduce isolation, and find comfort and strength in the experiences of others. You will undergo a minimum of 3-hour therapy sessions along with 3 to 6 individuals per trauma therapist.

Both individual and group programs are composed of different kinds of therapy for first responders, depending on their individual needs. Some examples of the evidence-based techniques we used in treating PTSD in first responders include the following.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR therapy is a treatment technique used to heal the brain from various mental health conditions, such as PTSD. It is a structured therapy that involves processing a traumatic memory while moving the eyes in a specific set of ways (bilateral stimulation)

EMDR aims to help you process the distressing memory and change the negative emotions, behaviors, and thoughts that come with it. This may be achieved under the guided instructions of a trained mental health professional.

According to the American Psychological Association, EMDR involves eight phases, namely:

  • History taking and treatment planning
  • Preparation and introduction of EMDR
  • Assessing the target memory
  • Desensitization
  • Installation
  • Body scan
  • Closure
  • Re-evaluation

EMDR therapy for first responders is a very common technique used to treat PTSD and other forms of trauma. 

Relational therapy

Relational therapy is a type of psychotherapy rooted in the belief that an individual’s psychological and behavioral well-being is greatly influenced by their past and current relationships. It involves exploring one’s personal interactions and how these relationships impact their thinking, habits, feelings, and behaviors.

Relational therapy incorporates the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, relational interventions, and psychotherapy methodologies.

Attachment therapy

first responders with ptsd

Attachment-based therapy is a counseling-style technique used to treat unresolved traumas and emotional wounds that stem from childhood or relationship issues. The therapy will target feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that the patient may have been suppressing or overemphasizing due to traumatic childhood experiences or early attachment problems.

Animal-assisted therapy

Animal-assisted therapy is a unique form of treatment technique typically incorporated into traditional therapies. This form of psychotherapy involves a guided interaction between the patient and a therapy animal that’s trained to provide support, comfort, and affection. 

Animal-assisted therapy is an important part of trauma therapy for first responders since it promotes emotional recovery. It also helps reduce anxiety, aggression, hostility, antisocial behavior, and stress levels.

Art therapy

Art therapy is a form of creative therapy incorporated into other traditional therapies used to treat PTSD. It is facilitated by a trained art therapist who will guide and help the patient process their trauma, resolve emotional conflicts, and heal from stress through art. 

You don’t have to be artistically gifted to get involved in art therapy. It is about having another outlet to express your feelings or unlock traumatic memories. The main goal of art therapy is to encourage creative expression while also providing a new way to cope as the patient works through their mental health issues.  

first responders with ptsd

Find the right PTSD treatment for first responders at 11th Hour Trauma Retreat

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health disorder that primarily affects the psychological well-being of a person. But as we all know, the condition can also cause lifelong effects on one’s overall health.

Therefore, treating PTSD in first responders should involve the mind, body, and emotions. That’s why at 11th Hour Trauma Retreat, we provide a collaboration of treatment techniques that address every aspect affected by PTSD. Some of our services include the following:

If you have been enduring an emotional trauma, then don’t hesitate to contact us at 772 837 5988. We are here to listen whenever you’re ready to talk. 

We will make sure to provide both safety and freedom where you can open up and process your trauma. We will help you explore the right treatment options that you feel comfortable with by working with our trained counsellors and therapists.  

You can also visit our website to learn more about our first responder PTSD retreat and intensive trauma therapy retreat near me.

11th Hour Trauma Retreat

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

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