Dr. Robbie's dedication to public safety professionals began with her father, Richard Adler, who was a fire chief for over 60 years.
THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM A CHAPTER WRITTEN BY DR. ROBBIE
Early Mental Health Intervention for First Responders/Protective Service Workers Including Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services Professionals
“We wait, we hope, we pray, until you come home again.” - Oprah Winfrey
First responders or Protective Service Workers who respond to manmade and natural disasters experience daily career exposure to acute stress and trauma. By working in professional positions in law enforcement, fire sciences, emergency medical services, search and rescue, 911 operators and dispatchers, emergency room staff (including doctors and nurses), child welfare workers, and even psychotherapists, these individuals experience direct or secondary trauma from the work environment. The work of caring for the emotional and physical needs of others takes its toll on those in the trenches. In these inimitable circumstances, the exposure can lead to direct traumas and/or vicarious trauma for the professional in a first responder role.
This chapter will focus on clinical skills for providing emergency mental health services to first responders while adhering to the EMDR protocol in the treatment of those professionals who are exposed to trauma in the line of duty. Case conceptualization is considered through the lens of the Adaptive Information Processing Model (AIP). The reader will learn how to develop a comprehensive treatment plan with methods for advanced resourcing skills and treating professional traumas specific to first responders. Psychotherapy requires a dance between ongoing encounters with trauma in the line of duty while considering complicated forensic issues. Personal and professional trauma arises out of the mission of first responders whose role it is to protect and serve the public.