One of the characteristics that set first responders and military personnel apart from most others is that they have to identify with their jobs and have a high degree of commitment to their teams and their missions. Over time, people in these jobs tend to embrace their job roles as part of who they are and there is little separation between the worker and the self. This kind of commitment leads to all the good things we know about first responders and those in the Military... But there is also a less talked about dark side to this level of selfless commitment.
The very nature of being committed to the team and to the mission puts pressure on the individual to "suck it up and carry on", and while this is very helpful in the short term, it can be problematic in the long term unless we take care of ourselves physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. And lets face it, nobody (or very few) take care of themselves like they should.
I certainly don't do as good of a job in this area as I should and chances are you also know you could take better care of yourself. Right about now you may be thinking to yourself - "But who has time or energy to really do this right?" "Besides, I would know if I have a problem and I would get help but I'm fine."
The turning point in how I looked at this self care dilemma happened when I found out about the impact of cumulative trauma and about how stress actually works in our bodies. These two concepts were gamechangers in how I prioritized and evaluated my needs in the context of my responsibilities to my job, my team, and my family.
We tend to seek therapy when the things that worked for us in the past aren't working any more - in other words, when we know that there is a problem. In the types of jobs where we must face suffering, death, stress, and uncertainty, it seems unreasonable to expect that someone will be able to go through a career without either dulling their emotions to prevent being impacted by these experiences or risk being emotionally overwhelmed. Some choose to be vulnerable and feel everything. This allows for processing feelings as they come, but it can be a tough experience because this method carries the likelihood of feeling overwhelmed often. Most, however, choose dulling their emotions, which works well for getting the job done but carries the high price of having difficulty getting close to others, which in turn translates to increased rates of relationship problems.
Wouldn't it be nice to have strategies and habits in place that either prevent or reduce the chances of developing a problem? Fire and Police departments across the country as well as the Military are beginning to look at these preventative measures as part of a comprehensive approach to better health care, and the results show that it is wise to invest in this direction.
Whether you are at a point where you know you would like to resolve some personal or relationship issues, or if you are in a place where you would like to learn about ways to develop the habits and strategies that will create a better long term balance in your life, I'm here for you and I will help you find solutions that actually work for you, for your family, and for your professional commitments.
Schedule your free 15 minute initial phone consultation today! Appointments can be reserved online at any time 24/7. Online scheduling supports appointment requests that are 3 days or more in the future. For more immediate availability, please call (912) 777-9842.