As a first responder, your job is to save lives. It’s why you signed up.
Showing up in people’s hours of need requires sacrifice, and over the years, the stresses of the job can exact a heavy price.
Clocking out is often accompanied but a tumult of built-up emotions held in check because of the need to keep a level head during a crisis.
Negative thoughts can flood the mind, self-protective pessimism overruns your thoughts, and feelings of indifference creep into your relationships with your loved ones.
A mind crowded with traumatic memories and relived sensory experiences can make everyday life challenging when you don’t know how to deal with them appropriately.
For many law enforcement officers, paramedics, firefighters, and other emergency services, self-care often takes a back seat. Years of neglecting their personal mental health needs can lead to a health crisis in need of a helping hand to pull them out of it.
The job is challenging under normal circumstances, but the pandemic has pushed many first responders closer to breaking point. Many emergency services personnel are now critically in need of therapeutic intervention and options for dealing with trauma quickly and effectively.
EMDR is one therapy alternative that promises a swift recovery.
How EMDR Supports Frontline and Emergency Workers
EMDR has proven incredibly effective at helping people find relief from trauma and distress.
It’s Not a Complicated Process
A first responder is on-call so that they can respond at a moment’s notice. There’s no time for complicated, drawn-out therapy, where relief is years in the making. EMDR has shown itself to be capable of providing relief in a short amount of time without the need for homework assignments.
Each session is designed to home in on unproductive thoughts, ideas, and assumptions connected to trauma and focusing on them specifically. The treatment is, therefore, a lot more straightforward and faster acting than other therapies.
EMDR Therapy Does not Require Hours of Talking
There’s no need to dredge up traumatic memories and talk about them for hours during EMDR therapy. A professionally trained EMDR therapist understands that the words to describe a traumatic event adequately are not always available. Plus, for many clients, talking about an event requires reliving it in their minds, which is not always conducive to finding relief.
EMDR Separates the Event from the Trauma
Your job is your livelihood, yet your employment often drops you into a frenzied environment where your body is often forced into a flight-or-response where you need to
react instinctively. Of course, there’s no running from your job, and your body and mind can only take so much.
When you don’t take steps to deal with the accumulated stresses and trauma, you can reach a breaking point where you feel you are no longer able to cope.
Repeatedly exposing yourself to triggers and tense situations is not sustainable, but EMDR can help you face the memories so your mind can adequately process the sensations and emotions.
With EMDR, you can access and reprocess the memories and trauma you put your body and mind through every day.
EMDR can work so quickly because it can reduce the strength of the memories and their ability to evoke an emotional response from you. In other words, you process the trauma and learn from the experience without any of the self-blame, distress, and overthinking produced by traumatic memories.
EMDR Challenges Deceptive Perceptions and Restores Positivity
Traumatized minds make errors when processing traumatic memories. The intense thoughts and emotions are often stored in the mind but not processed correctly. Without adequate processing, the memories can lead to self-doubt, pessimism, and nightmarish flashbacks that will erode your confidence in your ability to do your job.
EMDR restores the mind-body connection using eye movements, taps, and tones to allow your brain to rewire the sensations so they can no longer prevent you from performing at your job.
Every session homes in on a problematic mental-physical connection that may be holding you back so that you can replace them with more positive associations.
Get in Touch with a Professional EMDR Therapist Today
As a first responder, you likely believe that you should appear firm and strong, but this requirement for the job in no way precludes you from getting help when you need it. After all, you are human, and all humans are vulnerable to the effects of years of accumulated trauma.
People will feel no shame in calling on your help to put out a fire or provide medical care in an emergency. When dealing with the stress and trauma of the job, your own personal crisis deserves just as much attention.
Seeking help does not make you weak. Instead, it will make you better able to keep your community safe while enjoying stable and happy relationships with your family during your downtime.