Illustration

COUNSELING SUPPORT FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

It may be your battle, but you don't have to fight it alone.

Getting into this career was not an easy choice. When it is your calling, your purpose, there is no turning back. You love the work you do, but it's gotten to a point where it isn't fulfilling you the way it did when you started. It has become an issue in your relationships, and you don't know how to change it. The ongoing barrage of hard situations you face every day in your job isn't helping. People who lie, verbally attack you, scream and blame you for the circumstances they created. The things you've seen that you can't unsee. On top of it all, there is the anti-responder culture on social media and in the news. It all begins to weigh you down. It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
First responders face situations every day that most people couldn't even imagine. The long shifts, mandatory overtime, and missed events with loved ones can be exhausting. You want so hard for the job to not effect you after you take off the uniform. But then things happen, and you can't re-engage with the ones you love. Managing emotions with the high-stress days often requires you to check-out emotionally. Checking back in afterwards? Sometimes, it isn't an option. After a while, you begin to struggle with sleeping, more so than usual with the shift work. Your close friends and relatives comment on your moodiness, which doesn't help. You find your job takes its toll. Training did not prepare you for this. There was no "defensive tactics" class on how to manage the effects of your career on your personal life. You find yourself being easily frustrated with little things. You are on edge, and having a hard time getting back to yourself. But you push on through because "it's all part of the job".
Except, you know it doesn't have to be this way. Yes, the job is tough. Yes, the demands are exhausting. No, you can't imagine doing anything else.

Photo of a police car parked in the middle of a city with the lights flashing to warn civilians of the traumatic scene.

Our Mission


Our mission is to help first responders and their families find more peace and fulfillment in the life of service. You deserve culturally competent and high-quality services. You deserve support when it comes to your own wellbeing. Your training as a first responder is incredible, especially considering the unrealistic expectations the world has for your career. But all of your training focused on how you can serve the community, not on how to take care of yourself. We are here to help with that.

We have heard first responders share how they are frustrated and dissatisfied with providers taking far too long to schedule a responder. We have heard most often folks complain of the provider not understanding the culture of the first responder world, or that they seemed traumatized by the stories these first responders share. This is not okay. This is not the support you deserve.
We get it. We understand the different types of situations you can be exposed to. We understand how those incidents can lead to feeling on edge more than usual, or even unsafe. We understand how talking with your spouse, your family, or your friends is not an option, and you don't want to traumatize them with the horrific things you have seen. But you are smart, and you know talking about these hard things will help you.
Our mission is to provide you with individualized and specialized help in managing your own mental health and relationship needs. You deserve timely and adequate care. You deserve to have your counselor support you, not the other way around. We will provide that. We want to ensure that the career you have chosen serving others doesn't destroy who you are at your core, a good and compassionate person who wants to make the world a better place.

HideRead more

ABOUT

First Responder Mental Health

Illustration

The world of first responders is stressful and challenging, to say the least. From shift work to unrealistic expectations on the job, and even to the toll it takes on your family, it's no wonder first responders are pushed to the edge.

Our goal is to create a safe, non-judgmental, and collaborative environment to help you understand and care for your own mental health. Together, our agency will help you find new ways to approach the stress of the job on yourself and your family.

The Founders

  • A headshot photo of the co-founder, daughter of a police officer.

    Alisha Sweyd


    Alisha Sweyd is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Certified First Responder Counselor. Living the first responder life in childhood and now as the wife of a police officer, Alisha is able to support our clients with understanding and provide a research-based perspective for growth.

  • Head shot photo of the co-founder, retired police officer.

    Shawn Cavin


    Shawn Cavin is a retired police officer who served for over 20 years. He also is an army veteran, 10th Mountain Division. Shawn's focus is on connecting with first responders through workshops and outreach to provide a unique insight into the challenging lifestyle.

ADVANTAGES

Why Choose Us

Illustration

Competency

We understand first responder life not only because we have studied it, but also because we live it.

Confidential

You can trust that everything you share with us will be kept private. It is your story to share, not ours.

Монтажная область 33

Compassionate

You will know that we truly care about our responders, meeting you and your department where you are at to help you grow.

HELP AND SUPPORT

You Can Trust Us

Illustration

When it comes to the first responder lifestyle, there are few outside of the culture that can understand it. We live it, so we understand in a way that others could never comprehend.

The rhythm of the first responder lifestyle, particularly shift work and inconsistent sleep schedules, makes it that much more difficult to meet your own needs, let alone the needs of your family. Your calling to serve and protect others is often at the expense of your own mental health, even your relationships at home. At Code 3 Counseling, we don't want that to be the sacrifice you make. We are here to help you fulfill your calling in life while also having a thriving and gratifying life at home. Sounds like a unicorn? Trust us, it's completely real, and entirely yours to experience.

The Hearts Behind the Badge

For the families and loved ones of first responders, we also work to provide you with individualized care and support. It is not easy living this lifestyle, and even you must sacrifice for your responders' service. From the chaotic scheduling struggles, to the stress you feel over their safety, Code 3 Counseling is here to help you. We enjoy supporting the spouses, children, and other family members of first responders.
If you are struggling with your own personal issues (from anxiety to grief to parenting), or if you need more support in living with a first responder, we want you to be strong in your first responder family.

Photo of a little girl running while waving a large American flag to show her pride for her parent who is a first responder.

Services We Provide

Illustration
Photo of a distressed man sitting on a couch as he talks to a counselor about the traumatic things he has seen as a first responder.

Individual Counseling

For first responders, the struggle is REAL. We are here to make it a little more manageable.

Photo of a man and woman facing each other with the sun setting behind the over the ocean, feeling connected and loved after going through marriage counseling.

Marriage Counseling

First responder couples struggle more than most. Let us help you feel connected and supported together.

Photo of a bunch of hands in the middle of a huddle of people who are getting ready to cheer for the group being successful in their group counseling sessions.

Group Support

We know that sometimes, connecting with others who are struggling can provide the healing you need. Let us help!

Photo of a woman raising her hand during a presentation given by two people concerning the mental health of first responders.

Workshops & Seminars

We want to help your department, your staff, in better understanding how to thrive in the first responder life.

REQUEST MORE INFORMATION

Take the step towards freedom!

Illustration

Reach out to Code 3 for personalized and confidential support!

Thank you!

We will contact you shortly.

Can't send form.

Please try again later.

PARTNERS

Partners and Associations

Illustration

We are members of several associations who serve first responders and their families. We are consistently learning from our colleagues and improving our skills.

Picture of a logo for Certified First Responder Counselors.
Photo of a logo for Certified SYMBIS Facilitators for couples counseling.
Photo of the Lifesaver logo, an agency focused on supporting first responder marriages.
Photo of the Academy Hour logo, a company that serves first responders.
Photo of the American flag with different colored lines representing the different branches of people who serve and protect our country.
Photo of the logo for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Illustration

For first responders families, and departments, seeking help often raises many questions from clients. Here are some of the common ones asked to us.

● How can counseling help first responders?

Counseling provides you with an empowering environment to explore the aspects of the first responder lifestyle that make life even more of a struggle. Our goal is to help you as a first responder improve your overall satisfaction in life.

● Who will know about me receiving services?

Your involvement in counseling services, including attendance, is completely confidential. The only times we can breach confidentiality according to HIPAA and California State Law are if you give permission, or if there is an immediate threat to yourself or others. One of the reasons we do not use insurance or EAP is to increase the confidentiality of our sessions with our first responders.

● If I am in therapy, it means I am not "fit for duty", right?

False. We do not provide "fitness for duty" evaluations. Our focus is the responder, not the department. We are not allowed to report any information to your employer because of client confidentiality. Therefore, no information will be shared with the department. First responders and military who receive therapy are often full duty.

● What services can you provide to groups or departments?

We have several workshops and seminars that we can provide to small or large groups. From personal wellness to family communication, we help responders feel understood while providing tangible tools to continue growing.

● How does your agency help our departments and communities?

The mental wellness of first responders directly impacts the department and communities through the quality of services provided. Responders who manage their wellness effectively are more patient and effective in the work they do.

● Are certified through POST?

As of right now, we are working on being able to provide POST-approved trainings for first responders. However, due to the nature of our trainings focusing on personal wellness over community policing strategies, we are not currently certified with POST.

BLOG

Articles for First Responders

Illustration

We want to share what we know with you in an easy to read and authentic way!

Still not sure about it?

We offer a free 20-minute consultation for those interested in services. It will give you a chance to describe your particular issue, ask any questions about our experience, and help you feel more comfortable with us.

SCHEDULE A VISIT

Illustration

Code 3 Counseling

183 Forest Avenue Suite 2Pacific Grove, CA 93950
+1 (831) 272-2327cmoc.gnilesnuoc3edoc%40tcenno