PTSD Therapy for First Responders
Dec 10, 2020
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the result of exposure to a traumatic event whether you experienced the trauma yourself, witnessed trauma inflicted on another person, or are repeatedly exposed to the graphic trauma of others. First responders are often confronted with the latter, and the prevalence of PTSD is substantially higher in this profession than the rest of the general population.
Symptoms of PTSD
If you are a first responder and concerned you may be suffering from PTSD, you can look for the following symptoms:
- Intrusive memories, dreams, or flashbacks of a traumatic event(s)
- Feeling constantly on-edge or tense
- Irritability or aggressive outbursts
- Overwhelming fear
- An increase in self-destructive behavior
- Distorted feelings of guilt or blame
Treatment for PTSD
There is hope if you believe you suffer from this disorder as a result of your work on the front lines of traumatic events.
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT): During CPT, you will talk about the traumatic event or events that triggered your symptoms and your thoughts surrounding the ways it has affected your life. Then, you will write about it to help you examine the way you think about it and how you can move forward. This is usually a 12-week course of treatment with a therapist.
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE): PE is designed to help you confront your fears. A therapist will teach you breathing techniques to work through your fear, and you may make a list of the things you have been avoiding and discuss why that is the case. The course of this method usually involves 8-15 sessions.
- Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) or Writing Exposure Therapy (WET): With the help of a therapist, you will create a chronological narrative of your life story with a focus on traumatic events you have experienced or witnessed. Your therapist will ask you to focus on the details of your emotions and sensory information while you write. The purpose is to experience these emotions and work through them by remaining in the present. NET or WET usually consists of 5 sessions.
If you feel you are struggling with PTSD, you are not alone. Contact
us if you are looking for a therapist in the Fresno, CA area or would like more information on PTSD therapy.