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Treating PTSD in First Responders: A Guide for Serving Those Who Serve

A Guide for Serving Those Who Serve
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By the nature of their jobs, first responders are often highly exposed to traumatic events. Police, firefighters, and paramedics are highly exposed to traumatic events and experience markedly higher rates of PTSD than others in the community. They also face distinct organizational challenges that complicate their stress reactions. Often, this results in needs that are not addressed in manuals developed for people who have survived single traumatic events. This book provides an overview of theoretical and empirical frameworks for understanding PTSD in first responders and outlines practical and evidence-based approaches to assess and treat PTSD in these populations. This is followed by a thorough discussion of the assessment process and guidance on treatment strategies with this population, including sample scripts for the therapist. Other chapters cover the particular challenges of working with first responders, including comorbidities, the organizational stressors that can complicate treatment; and the forensic issues that therapists should keep in mind through assessment and treatment. The author's approach is based on cognitive behavior therapy and is supported by research done in the Traumatic Stress Clinic in Australia, which has treated hundreds of first responders. This comprehensive volume is essentially the outcome of the author's lessons learned about what is effective and what is not in helping police, firefighters, and paramedics deal with their stress-related conditions. While this work can be challenging for clinicians and practitioners, it can also be very rewarding. Although many first responders often present with very complex psychological needs, these individuals are also committed and motivated patients.
Richard Bryant, PhD, is director of the Traumatic Stress Clinic and Scientia Professor of Psychology at the University of New South Wales in Australia. His research focuses on identifying people at risk of mental health problems after trauma, early intervention strategies, treatment strategies for posttraumatic stress, and complicated grief. Dr. Bryant has participated in many major national and international projects, including developing web treatments for U.S. troops returning from Iraq and serving on DSM-5 and ICD-11 work groups that wrote traumatic stress diagnostic guidelines. He has published hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, receiving wide recognition for his work.
Acknowledgements Foreword Chapter 1. An Introduction to PTSD Chapter 2. What Do We Know About PTSD in First Responders? Chapter 3. Models of PTSD Chapter 4. Moral Injury in First Responders Chapter 5. Assessing PTSD in First Responders Chapter 6. Review of Treatments for PTSD Chapter 7. Psychological Debriefing Chapter 8. Strategies for Treating PTSD in First Responders Chapter 9. Challenges in Treating First Responders Chapter 10. Organizational Stressors Chapter 11. Forensic Issues References
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