First Responder and Law Enforcement Therapy
FIRST RESPONDER THERAPY
In search of a First Responder Therapist or a Law Enforcement Therapist in Seattle, Bellevue or Bothell/Woodinville? Our first responder counselors work with police, soldiers, firefighters and medical staff on stress, loss, ptsd and suicide. Available online, too.
Your well-being is the most important safety skill
You want your life to be less full of stress and complications. You’re thinking, “If I could just get through the day and be able to enjoy family/personal time without my work following me home.”
You knew that being a police officer would test your limits, but you didn’t think it would be this mentally draining?
Perhaps, the family career as a firefighter was what you always wanted and you worked so hard to get to where you are, but now find yourself struggling with aspects of the job that weren’t foreseen?
Or, when you and your partner started your relationship you talked about the difficulties of managing a rotating schedule and having a family, but now you find yourself struggling to cope.
Being a first responder has always been hard but in these modern times it feels like it’s even more challenging on individuals and families. We’ve asked you, frontline responders – police, firefighters, emergency medical staff, military personnel – to take these difficult and essential jobs that keep the Seattle area safe, and yet you are provided with little to no support in your mission. The community may even question your dedication to service and intention to protect the public you serve, leaving you feeling unappreciated and maybe even a little nervous about carrying out the duties of your job. Regardless if these concerns are unfounded or based on false perceptions, it hits you to your core.
For all these reasons, we’ve long made it a priority to provide mental health support for our first responders.
We work with many first responders on all kinds of issues unique to the job – From typical worry about PTSD, to the risk of coping with stress through the use of substances like alcohol, to the general pressures that the job places on families and relationships. You don’t have to face these hurdles alone. Our professionals understand the unique stressors that you and your family manage on a daily basis.
Acuity Counseling Can Help.
Being a first responder is a tough profession and hard on those who choose it. The physical threats are clear, which is why you train and sharpen your skills constantly to protect against the highly visible threats. The psychological dangers are more hidden but every bit as real. Knowing how to protect yourself mentally, especially knowing when it is time to get help, is as important to your well-being as any other safety skill.
Acuity’s 1-on-1 Therapies for:
OUR THERAPY APPROACHES
Our Clinicians also help with:
- Personal Growth
- Navigating Life Transitions (relocation, career changes, stage of life growth)
- Existential Concerns
- Managing Anger or Panic
- Gaining control over Substance use & Addiction
Contact us to schedule an appointment or ask a question.
Our First Responder Approach to Trauma and Mental Health
Acuity Counseling is a multi-disciplinary team of counselors and therapists. We are specialized in a variety of counseling approaches best suited for trauma including Trauma Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT) & Eye-Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR). We know that best therapy outcomes come from therapists that work best for your personal struggles, so we take great care in matching you with the counselor that is best for you.
We also understand that you can’t work on job related stress issues alone. We know that work stress spills over to our relationships with ourselves, our body, our friends and our family.
While the focus of our sessions is on helping you recover or prepare for job related traumas, we also encourage a comprehensive examination of your life as a whole.
While we work with first responders on understanding and integrating the traumas they face at work, we have people approach us with issues their children are experiencing.
When it comes to police, with the increasing media coverage of police departments across the country, tension can run high at the schools of police officers’ children. Children can taunt or provoke each other based on their parent’s occupation. Having to cope with the stress your child is feeling at school when combined with your service can be too much to handle.
Building Resilience and Coping Skills
The two main types of first responders that we serve include (1) those who are currently struggling with past or current traumas or (2) those who are hoping to build up resilience for future challenges.
When coping with past or recent traumas, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. The sooner you talk with a specialist about the event the better the odds are that you properly process it and avoid long term PTSD. Typically in our sessions after a major event, we start by getting to know the nature of your work and the nature of the specific incident. After we process that we can talk generally about the general difficulties you have faced in the line of duty and how that has weighed on you.
We also work with clients on some stress and trauma management techniques to help with daily struggles as we unpack deeper issues, beliefs and concerns in later sessions. As we continue to work together we can discuss larger concerns within the family or general life at home.
Working to build resiliency is something that we pride ourselves in as well. Resilience is the ability to “successfully adapt to stressors and maintain psychological wellbeing in the face of adversity.” Across all people, resilience can be learned. For example, many first responders have trained themselves (or been trained) to ignore or suppress signs of stress in order to focus on the task at hand.
The key idea that we teach first responders when it comes to managing emotions like stress is to not suppress and fight against emotions, but to think of emotions in a radically different way. We have found it helpful to train first responders on techniques to quickly take note of and accept their emotional cues. We do this through some of the ‘third wave’ cognitive behavioral therapy approaches that we offer to clients. In these approaches we build greater ‘mindfulness’ within clients of their own emotion processing.
It’s important to retrain your emotional responses, because if you continue to suppress difficult emotions, they remain in your subconscious mind and continue to do their work more subtly, slowing down the brain and adding undue stress. Instead, by learning to deal with the stress, before, during and after the event better, you can think more clearly and keep your resilience battery charged.
FAQ about seeing a First Responder Therapist and Law Enforcement Therapist
Which therapist is right for me?
Let us help you find the right therapist. Many of our therapists specialize in anxiety, so view our profiles online to learn more about specific counselors specializing in anxiety treatment or speak with our Client Care Coordinator, who can help you with a personalized match to the right therapist for your needs.
Finding the RIGHT therapist is the most important piece of reaching your goals.
How long does Therapy take?
Counseling works best within the framework of a safe and trusted therapeutic alliance. Since it takes time to build this relationship with your therapist, we recommend committing to weekly sessions for at least 8 weeks. Research shows that consistency adds to the positive outcomes of therapy. Once you reach your 8-week goal, you and your therapist can discuss a frequency of sessions that will support your continued success.
I’ve never done therapy before...What can I expect in my sessions?
The unknown of anything new can make it scary. Especially if you’ve never been to counseling before. Let us show you the “roadmap” so you know what to expect:
This first meeting is an introduction for both you and your counselor. Your therapist will explain the therapy process and go over the specifics of informed consent. From there, your therapist will gather additional information about your history, current circumstances, as well as struggles and personal strengths, which will help them to define a treatment plan that aligns with your goals.
This is also the chance for you to learn more about your therapist. We encourage you to ask questions and get to know them; the relationship you build with your therapist will be the most important part of your work together.
2nd Session and Future sessions:
In your weekly sessions, you and your therapist will use evidenced based therapies such as CBT, Mindfulness or ACT, to help you address your symptoms of worry, stress and anxiety. For anxiety rooted in trauma, or related to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), your therapist may recommend treatment with EMDR.
Our goal is for you to find relief from your anxiety and be ready to “graduate” from therapy. In the last few sessions with your therapist, you will review your initial goals, the progress you have made, and solidify your new skills for managing anxiety in your life. At your last meeting together, you’ll have the time for the meaningful goodbye with your therapist.
How much does Counseling cost?
We strive to create access to high quality mental healthcare for everyone. Our therapists’ rates vary by experience and specialized training. We will make every effort to find the right therapist for you.
Acuity Counseling also accepts health insurance and offers both in-network and out-of-network coverage.
We are in-network partners with:
* We do not participate in EAP plans
Why don’t you only use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
While we use CBT as an aspect of our therapeutic approaches, we know that every individual is different. No one responds to any method perfectly, so by employing many techniques we are able to provide the most personalized support. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is talked about in relation to mental health so often because it has a large body of research behind it and is easy to replicate across all cases. This is why you may hear it called “evidence based,” which it certainly is. However, we use other evidence based therapies in conjunction with CBT in our therapies.
How can I evaluate whether therapy is working?
Acuity is unique because we use research backed questionnaires to assess your mood, goals and progress. From time to time we may share with you your progress on these reports, “you report being angry 30% less days than when you started therapy,” and then ask what your goals for the future may be. We have found that by having clients set their own goals and following up regularly we can achieve better results.
If I go to Acuity for help, does it mean there is something wrong with me?
No. We try to break this stigma constantly.
Many people come to Acuity just to gain a better perspective of themselves and work on some issues that they are having in their daily life. There aren’t many places for people to vent and seek honest help, so we provide that space for people as well as psychologically informed advice to better cope with life’s persistent problems. Even if you have a mental health diagnosis there is nothing wrong with you. We all experience and react to the world in different ways, it’s hard to argue that there is anything wrong with that.
Is medication used in conjunction with your therapy?
Some conditions for some people are best treated with the help of medication. If we find it necessary after our initial assessments, we will discuss types of medication, your comfort with it, and the pros and cons of medication with you. If you so choose, we can refer you to the appropriate psychopharmacologist in the area. If you are already on medication, we will coordinate treatment with your primary provider.
If you have questions and would like to talk about any of our counseling services, please reach out for a complimentary phone consultation or send us an email.
First Session Within 72 Hours of Calling
We book you an appointment within 24 hours of contacting us (usually less) and make sure your first appointment is soon after.
for Billing questions call: