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I’ve never talked to anyone. I’m used to handling things on my own. How can therapy help me?

If you've been in emergency services for any length of time you may have heard things like "suck it up," or "this is the job--if you can't deal with it, get out." The implication there is that you should handle things on your own. The reality is that everyone needs help now and then, even those who are accustomed to being the helper.

Therapy can help you sort out the thoughts/images that come with those particularly bad calls--it can also help with everyday struggles like stress, burnout, anger, relationship struggles, and family problems, just to name a few.

What’s the difference between talking to you or a friend or peer support member?

Friends and peer supporters are very helpful, you should absolutely lean on them. And, sometimes, it helps to talk to a trained professional who can help you approach your situation in a new way– teach you new skills, help you gain different perspectives and listen to you without judgment or expectations. And, counseling is completely confidential--no one has to know that you are struggling in any way if you aren't comfortable sharing that.

Can I trust you with what's really going on with me?

Absolutely. I've heard and seen a lot in this field--you can talk to me candidly without worrying about shocking, scaring or upsetting me.

Also, as mentioned previously, therapy sessions are completely confidential. I believe that people should have a safe place to talk openly about even their deepest, darkest thoughts so that real healing can occur. I will never ignore something like an indication of self-harm or suicidal ideation, but I will hold space for you to explore the "taboo" subject matter that isn't appropriate to bring up at the dinner table. And, if a third party needs to be involved in your treatment, I will always talk it over with you first, though in my experience that is rarely necessary.

How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?

Be YOU! Help me understand what's bothering you, what's not going well in your life, or what you want to change and we'll go from there. I will be straight with you, and challenge you, and call you on your BS if necessary, and I will always treat you with dignity and respect.

Do you work with spouses/family members, even if I'm not a responder?

Yes! If you are a significant other, a parent, child or have any other connection with someone in the emergency response field and need help working through something in your life (whether related to their job or not) I'm happy to help!