Survival Training for the Mind
Welcome, First Responders!
In serving your community, you are witness to great acts of generosity and kindness and heroic acts of grace and courage. You make a huge difference in people’s lives. You do physically exhausting work and make rapidfire life and death decisions. You have to be ready for anything and you are.
Over time, things can build up, much like carbon buildup in an engine which can cause the engine to lose power and run less efficiently or even stop running altogether. Like carbon buildup, trauma can lodge in the human system, compromising mental toughness and your feeling of well-being. The good news is that your system is just fine, it's a matter of moving the trauma on through your system so that you can run optimally.
Your first responder family are experts at understanding all the equipment needed to do your job well. You study it, you understand it, you train with it, and you regularly maintain and update it. All too often, your human system is not given the same care and consideration. In fact, the message is loud and clear:
Suck it up.
Rub some dirt in it and keep going.
This is great advice when you are in operational and tactical mode. You must get the job done, but the buildup in your human system happens when you stay in that mode long after the call is over.
It’s not just one call, it’s one call piled on the next call, piled on the next call. You keep it all to yourself. It begins to build up in your system. You may keep yourself overly busy so you won’t think about things, the sights, the sounds, the smells. It may be that you attempt to shut it all out and numb yourself. You may find that you are unable to turn off your brain leading to exhausting nights and days. You may have ups and downs with temper, road rage, difficulty dealing with conflict, or self-medication. Often, it spills over into your family life, both your work family and your home, and these are the most important people in the world to you.
"I'm fine!", you may say. Yes, yes you are and that is the foundation of my work as a coach. There is nothing wrong with you. The problem is misunderstanding how the human system works.
Humans are wired to survive. In a traumatic situation, the body amps up in order to protect itself. This is normal and healthy. Problems arise when you stay amped up. You can learn how to bring your system back to equilibrium after the call is over, allowing the trauma to flow through you rather than getting stuck and creating unwanted buildup.
You wouldn’t dream of not understanding and maintaining the equipment that enables you to do your job. Understanding the human system is the same. Mental well-being is about understanding how the system works and maintaining it. Maintained, it will serve you well.
Coaching is not therapy or counseling. Coaching is survival training for your mind.
Just as you engage in on-going training with your equipment, procedures, and protocols to keep things working well, so, too, your mind works best with the same care and attention.
In coaching sessions (via phone or videoconferencing):
- We explore a framework that can help you navigate trauma more easily.
- We look at how the human system is built to deal with trauma naturally and how understanding this allows trauma to move through you without buildup leaving you with more peace.
- We explore how to access your innate resiliency more quickly and easily even on your most difficult days.
- You learn how to simplify your thinking so that you are able deal with the moment at hand with more ease and efficiency.
- You develop more skill and ease with your emotions.
What can you expect from me?
I am professionally trained, just as you are, and I maintain the strictest levels of confidentiality. I will provide a respectful, non-judgmental, and compassionate space for you. I have an unwavering commitment to you and I will support you in keeping your human system working optimally.
Consider scheduling a session today. All sessions are conducted using video-conferencing from the comfort of your home or office.
How Do Sessions Work?
It may be one session or six sessions. You will know what is right for you. Initially, we will have a conversation for an hour or so where we will create a nice connection and I will begin to understand what is going on for you. We will look at what is most important to you, what outcomes you want from our work together and we will make a plan for going forward. Sessions are conducted via videoconferencing using Skype or Zoom or over the phone from the comfort of your own home or office.