The Psychology of Trauma in Working with First Responders   [Archived Catalog]
2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook

PSY 3178 - The Psychology of Trauma in Working with First Responders

This course examines the various traumas and psychological challenges faced by first responders; specifically, police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS). The salient issues critical to comprehending, conceptualizing, preventing, and treating trauma and other psychological challenges that emerge for these special populations will be examined. First responders typically utilize formal and informal helping methods to address psychological distress and trauma. Thus, students will be exposed to these common methods of helping/coping utilized by fire, EMS and police, as well as critically review barriers to seeking help and creative solutions. Exploration of current research on positive coping strategies, professional and peer psychological interventions, as well as resilience-building skills for first responders, and their relationship to improving job performance and efficacy will be highlighted. This exploration will occur within the context of how historical and cultural professional factors, organizational dimensions, and individual experiences with trauma may both exacerbate and assist first responders in addressing psychological consequences of one-the-job stressors. Critical clinical and treatment implications will be highlighted during this exploration. This course is an elective for the Complex Trauma & the Healing Process Certificate.  3 credit(s)