Have you seen battle, in war or against COVID-19?
Are you in law enforcement of a position of high-security clearance?
Or in a relationship with someone who works in a high-stress job that requires them to put their life on the line?
By the very nature of what we do as police officers, we are unavoidably exposed to a host of toxic elements that can be likened to grains of emotional sand that ever so gradually are placed on our psychological backs. As time goes on, the sand increases in volume. Without the proper tools to remove it, the weight can become unbearable. In fact, in some cases, the sand becomes so heavy that it can collapse officers. The result of the sand's weight takes a heavy toll on us; substance abuse, anxiety, depression, failed marriages, and other emotional and physical ailments that rise well above societal averages plague our profession.
But no one is talking about a potential mental health crisis facing police officers, health care workers, paramedics and fire fighters on the frontlines of this pandemic. To an outside observer, workers look strong and resilient in the face of the unknown. Healthcare workers inspire us as they go to work every day, at great personal risk, to keep others safe. Many do not see that their calm surface appearance is the only armor they have left. Underneath it, many essential workers are barely keeping it together. They are anxious and they are afraid. Some aren't sleeping and they find themselves crying more than usual. The overall feeling maybe one of an impending doom and an existing gloom that is both physically and psychologically palpable. Personal protective equipment is critical to protecting health care professionals' physical and mental well-being. Essential worker may help save lives by serving, protecting, treating and convalescing us, but what about your psyche and the trauma you have witness. We are here to help you process what you have been through and provide tools to help you feel better. We can help.
Law enforcement officers are a special population (like military and paramilitary personnel and other first responders) who experience coexisting medical and behavioral health issues with links to job-related stressors.
Working in these fields may be stressful and cause you and those around you to worry.
You may not be in a position to tell your boss how you feel or tell your family what you are going through.
We have experienced therapists that have worked discreetly with law enforcement and "the alphabet" clientele: ATF, CIA, DEA, DOD, DOJ, FBI, and NSA. We provide you a private secure space to vent. We can help you work through job stress, anxiety, alcohol and substance use, family and relationship issues, grief, and more. We offer secure teletherapy and private payment options that eliminate documentation to insurers.
Job-related stressors may include: confidential knowledge and an inability to discuss your work, shift work, long hours, unpredictable schedules, exposure to critical incidents, being the frequent focus of public attention and criticism, various physical demands, and high rates of on-the-job injuries.
Every single law enforcement officer undergoes fit-for-duty evaluations that entail a combination of psychological testing and interviewing. Law enforcement employers are legally obligated to verify and monitor officers to ensure physical, mental and emotional stability, as well as job performance capability. As a result, any signs of behavior that are in question, either on or off duty, are subject to scrutiny by the officer's department or chain of command.
We practice cognitive-behavioral approaches help individuals correct distorted thought patterns for increased functioning.
If you constantly replay a traumatic event in your mind, avoid places or things that remind you of the experience, and feel hyperaware of your surroundings following a severely traumatic event you should contact us for an appointment.
We practice trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive approaches help clients correct erroneous cognitions, while behavioral approaches aim to decrease symptoms through exposure to reminders of the traumatic event.
If you have symptoms of re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal following a severely traumatic event you should contact us for an appointment.
There are also major health concerns that are identified like high blood pressure, insomnia, heart disease, diabetes, posttraumatic stress disorder, obesity, depression, anxiety, cancer, substance abuse, relational distress and suicide. This special population often presents with higher rates of depression, substance abuse and suicide than does the general public.
Individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder, commonly referred to as PTSD, are hypothesized to develop cognitive and behavioral avoidance strategies in an attempt to avoid distressing emotional reactions. The presence of these extensive avoidance responses can interfere with the extinction of fear by limiting the amount of exposure to realistically safe reminders of the traumatic event.
We practice trauma-focused approaches aimed to decrease symptoms through talking about a traumatic event or concentrating on where your fears come from. We work on activating "the fear memory." Then we work on applying new, corrective information that includes elements incompatible with the existing pathologic components. Exposure procedures consist of helping the client to confront trauma-related information in a therapeutic manner to activate the trauma memory. This activation provides an opportunity for the client to integrate corrective information and modify pathologic components of the trauma memory. Corrective information comes in the form of decreased fear responses while still in the presence of trauma reminders and lack of a recurrence of the trauma even when exposed to trauma reminders.