Many firefighters develop PTSD in doing their job from day to day and experiencing traumatic events. Symptoms of PTSD are trouble sleeping, flashbacks, nightmare, avoiding places or activities that remind you of the incident, depression, anxiety, easily startled, poor concentration, anger, guilt and shame At First Responder First in Lake Hughes, CA we have a number of therapies to help every firefighter with the symptoms of PTSD and recovery. We have EMDR, cognitive behavioral therapy, detox, medication management, dialectical behavior therapy, equine therapy, gestalt therapy, individual, group, family therapy, acupuncture, yoga and meditation, and wolf therapy. Our program customizes the treatment to meet every firefighter’s individual needs.
The causes of PTSD are treating medical emergencies on children, witnessing the deaths of children, adults, and firefighters, seeing terrible burns on victims, not being able to rescue victims from fires, equipment failure that causes death and witnessing families losing their homes. We offered therapies that have evidence to support their effectiveness.
Type of Treatment for Firefighters with PTSD
When individuals develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol due to PTSD we provide Detox and Incidental Medical Service that address the addiction and treatment of any medical issues that come with it. We often prescribe medications to help with withdrawal symptoms, medical conditions, and we provide a healthy diet and a safe environment with 24/7 supervision to help with recovery. During this time, individual and group counseling may be part of the program.
EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a therapy used to treat PTSD by reprocessing traumatic memories and moving the eyes while recalling what happened. It is recognized as an effective treatment by professional groups like the US Department of Veteran Affairs and the American Psychiatric Association. It is a standard treatment for symptoms of PTSD.
Another therapy we offer is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that focuses on emotions, relationships, thoughts, feelings, and new behaviors. It helps patients to learn new ways of thinking and practice new ways to cope that are more healthy. They teach patients to recognize negative thoughts and behaviors and replace them with more positive behavior.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is used to treat PTSD. It is another form of behavioral and cognitive therapy that focuses on changing thoughts and behaviors through mindfulness. It teaches meditation, controlling thoughts, and walking mindfully. It has been found effective in reducing symptoms.
Many Different Therapies
Equine therapy is an effective therapy that uses horses to help heal PTSD symptoms. Patients groom, ride, feed and care for the horses. They learn to train them to do complex tasks and communicate with them. In this therapy, patients learn to relax, take on challenges in a less structured atmosphere. It focuses on exercise and meeting challenges.
Psychodynamic therapy emphasizes unconscious feelings and thought in the mind. A therapist helps the individual recognize the avoidance of painful feelings and find new ways to cope without blaming others. This is effective for some patients. Gestalt therapy is often conducted individually and in groups using exercises and experiments to get individuals to feel emotions and take action.
Expressive Art Therapy uses the creativity of making art to help individuals to express emotions that they cannot verbally. The therapist teaches relaxation techniques and it gives individuals a chance to record events on paper and capture the essence of what caused their illness. It might involve other artistic form designs, woodworking, sculpture or playing music to release emotions.
Acupuncture is a safe medical treatment that is considered natural to treat PTSD symptoms. It uses needles put in key regions of the body to help to relieve depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, and other symptoms. The needles stimulate the Acupressure points and restore balance to the body and mind. Many patients have found this to be an effective treatment.
Wolf therapy lets individuals interact one on one with wolves that have been trained to be petted. They learn to connect with the animal on a primal level. They walk the wolf, go rock climbing, hiking, and participate in other outdoor activities. It helps individuals work through emotions, anger, shame, and grief. These animals can provide them with feedback on how they are feeling. These animals go through intense behavioral training. Therapists expect these animals to gain from the therapy too. Trainers are on hand to keep interactions safe.
First Responder First has kitchens, dining rooms, family room, therapy room, breakfast area, living room, library, pool, individual rooms for patients, laundry, gym, and outdoor grounds. We have trained psychologists, therapists, nurses, drug and alcohol technicians, a chef, and a mascot Cutty. We get physician referrals for many of our patients and treat firefighters and other first responders for symptoms of PTSD.
We provide medication management to help patients manage symptoms during recovery and offer individual, group therapy, and family therapy for PTSD patients. We offer the 12-step program, healthy diet,, and exercise as part of the overall program.
Contact Us to Learn More
Contact First Responders First to make an appointment to learn more about PTSD treatment for a firefighter. The person will be give a complete medical exam and tests, after we diagnose the condition we provide a customized treatment plan . Call 888-252-5767 or fill out our online form.