Help for Emergency Services Personnel-First Responder


EMDR for PTSD Recovery & Stress Management

Did you know that Canadian first responders experience post-traumatic stress disorder at twice the rate of the general population?

If you are emergency personnel, such as a paramedic, law enforcement officer, emergency dispatcher, or firefighter, and you experience post-traumatic symptoms, please know that you are not alone. EMDR therapy can help you heal.

My experience involves working with paramedics and RCMP both active and retired who have experienced cumulative operational stress injuries over the years and are looking for help with negative symptoms like sleeplessness, panic and anxiety, flashbacks and triggers. 

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts please call: 1 -833-456-4566

What to Expect with EMDR

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. EMDR therapy is designed to help you process a “bad call” or disturbing critical incident. Using a proven framework of guided bilateral eye movements, we will use EMDR to activate your brain’s natural healing process. This treatment approach helps resolve traumatic events and will transform your emotional response to triggers. You will also learn coping skills to support you during future high-stress work situations.

How PTSD Might Feel

As a first responder, some of the post-traumatic symptoms you might experience include:

  • Intrusive thoughts, dreams, and unwanted recollections of the traumatic incident
  • Worrying about harm happening to your loved ones
  • Hypervigilance or being easily startled – Avoiding triggering places or people
  • Feelings of fatigue and burnout
  • Irritability or detachment
  • Trouble sleeping – Depression
  • Ineffective Coping Mechanisms
  • Intrusive thoughts or nightmares after a traumatic event are extremely upsetting

Some of the common ways a person might try to cope (but won’t help heal the trauma) might include:

  • Using substances, such as alcohol or drugs
  • Self-harming by cutting or binge-eating

    Increased risk-taking, such as reckless driving

Experiencing Moral Injury

Moral injury is a term to describe what happens when a workplace incident is so severe that it changes the way you make sense of life.

Examples of Moral Injury are:

  • You feel obliged to go against your values in order to do your job, this can cause inner conflict, guilt, or depression.
  • Another example is you are not able to prevent another person’s actions that go against your values or moral beliefs
  • Your unit or organization does not support you and you feel betrayed by your boss or organization.

EMDR treatment is effective at helping you process the feelings of guilt that accompany the moral injury. I provide a confidential place to make sense of these feelings so that you can get support.

Finding Relief with EMDR

EMDR and counselling provide relief from troubling feelings and compulsions that can arise following trauma. After EMDR treatment you will no longer participate in self-destructive behaviours. Without therapeutic intervention, post-traumatic symptoms can lead to clinical depression. If you feel you can be helped by EMDR or counselling please fill out my new client form.