FAQ

Individuals

  • 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. With our help, you will gain a fresh perspective on situations that you face as a first responder. You will also gain new insight and awareness into your own circumstances at home. Our goal is to help you as a first responder improve your overall satisfaction in life. Whether it is through processing difficult experiences or learning new coping and communication skills, counseling can assist you in discovering new ways of finding meaning and knowing yourself better.
    We want you to know that the most important factor when considering how counseling can help will depend on how you take advantage of the process and put into practice the tools and skills you learn in sessions.

  • What about counseling vs. other self-help methods?

    While other self-help methods are limited in the ways they can guide you, a counselor is is someone who goes through 100 self-help books, ripping out the pages that are helpful for you specifically, and highlighting the key points that you may not notice reading on your own. As counselors, we utilize extensive training and education in the field of mental health to assist you with overcoming the obstacles you face. When looking for a counselor, you need to find one who is competent in understanding the first responder culture. This is why we offer a free 20-minute consultation to help you feel comfortable with us.

  • Who will know about me receiving services?

    Your involvement in counseling services, including attendance, is completely confidential. The counseling setting requires trust, and maintaining your privacy is key in developing and maintaining that trust. What you share in sessions, stays in sessions. The only times we can breach confidentiality according to HIPAA and California State Law are:When you provide a written release of information that specifies what is to be shared and with whom.When a court order is given by a judge to obtain records for legal reasons.When a mandated report is required (such as danger to self, danger to others, child abuse, elder abuse, and dependent adult abuse).
    One of the reasons we do not use insurance or EAP is to increase the confidentiality of our sessions with our first responders. Outside of you choosing to share, no one outside of our agency will know of you seeking sessions.

  • How frequently are sessions scheduled?

    During our initial consultation, we discuss the schedule that fits your needs the best. Typically, you will meet with a counselor once each week or every other week. Based on your treatment, a higher or lesser frequency of sessions may be helpful.

  • What about medications?

    For mental health issues, research shows that medication alone cannot provide a long-term solution. When deciding whether or not to take medication, you need to consult with your doctor to discuss the costs and benefits of medication, particularly as a first responder, you need to know if the medications will hinder your ability to complete your job each day. In counseling, and with your permission, we can work in conjunction with your psychiatrist or medical doctor to ensure an integrative approach to your own wellness.
    PLEASE NOTE: We are not able to prescribe medications. If you are seeking medications for mental health related concerns, you will need to see a psychiatrist or a medical doctor.

  • How much does it cost? Can I use my insurance or EAP?

    To understand our fees and contracted panels, please see our Fees & Insurance page.

  • What if I can't afford your fee?

    Don’t let the fee discourage you from contacting us. We have found that, more often than not, we are able to come up with an acceptable arrangement with most people, as there are many options with services provided. Even when that hasn’t been the case, we are able to refer inquiries to therapists who may be able to accommodate your financial situation and still provide quality services necessary for first responders.

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

    False. We do not provide services regarding "fitness for duty". Our focus is the responder or military service member, 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.

Departments & Agencies

  • 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. See the list of workshops and seminars we provide here.

  • 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. Our focus is on providing insightful and competent services to assist responders in achieving overall wellness.

  • 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.

  • Do you accept EAP or insurances?

    To understand our fees and contracted panels, please see our Fees & Insurance page.