CRITICAL INCIDENT COUNSELING

Something has changed deep within you. What you have seen, you can't unsee it. That one scene, it was darkness you never thought possible, and it sticks with you. It weighs on you. Heavier than your duty belt. Heavier than the gear. And your body is tense, ready to pounce and fight at the first sign of danger. Even when you know the danger has passed, that you are safe where you are now, it just won't turn off.
You dread having another call like that one. You pray that you won't get called to that place again. The smells, the sounds, you can't seem to turn them off in your head. The memories flood your mind at random times, completely unexpected.
You feel like you are on the edge all the time, more than ever. You try to tell yourself it is just part of the job and you are overthinking it. But that doesn't work. All you want to do is to turn off the pain, the weight, for just a few minutes. All you want is rest. All you want is peace.

Say yes to freedom!

Photo of a man standing on the very top of a mountain holding his hand in the air feeling free and accomplished after receiving trauma counseling support.

You do not have to live in the trauma you have seen or experienced. Yes, the career you have chosen exposes you to darkness most cannot even imagine. But that does not mean you have to be a victim to it.
We can help you! It will take some work, but believe us when we say that you can do this! And with Code 3 Counseling, you won't do it alone.
You can become connected with yourself again. Being able to live your life without the fear of the darkness coming back. Being able to be in control of your reactions before they happen. Being able to live in your calling and do good in this world.
Imagine yourself standing there, knowing that you have seen darkness, and then knowing you have a greater power. You can move on. You can be yourself again. You can live freely again.

Are you ready to say yes to freedom?

We offer free 20-minute consultations with a licensed therapist who can help you understand if counseling would benefit you. 

Common Types of Critical Incidents

Critical incidents are quite common for first responders. A CI can be anything that causes a challenging and overwhelming response for an individual. Some common CIs include:

● Traffic collisions with multiple fatalities or severely disfigured survivors.● A sever child abuse case.● The death of a child or baby.● Officer involved shooting. ● A particularly graphic crime scene. ● A violent call that consumes a dispatcher’s shift. ● The violent response of civilians to a situation, such as rioting after an OIS.

It is important to remember that two individuals can be involved in the same CI, and both can have different responses to the incident. Just because your partner was able to avoid an overwhelming reaction to the death of a child DOES NOT mean you should not have a response.

Photo of police standing outside of a scene of a critical incident.

Ways to ease your initial response to the critical incident.

  • Slow your breathing. 

    Many academies and training curriculums these days will teach you the “Box Breathing Method”. This is not just any technique, it actually has scientific evidence to show how this method can get you back in control of your responses. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, and hold for 4 seconds. Do this cycle 4 times in a row.

  • Grounding Techniques. 

    Grounding is a way to get your brain out of the fog and into the physical world around you. My favorite technique is focusing all five of my senses on a cup of hot peppermint tea. Grab your favorite cold or hot beverage (not lukewarm), and bring your attention to how it feels as you drink it, what it smells like, what it looks like, the sound the liquid makes, and the taste.

Man standing on a mountain top looking away from the camera feeling peace after successfully completing counseling for a critical incident as a law enforcement officer.

How do I know if I need to seek counseling for the critical incident?

So many responders struggle with understanding when it is time to seek counseling. Professional counseling services can help first responders who are experiencing the following responses to a critical incident:

Your response to the incident is consistently disrupting your daily activities. You find yourself struggling with leaving the incident at work. The memories flood your mind unexpectedly or they never leave. And it makes it hard for you to complete every day tasks or to meet the needs of your loved ones. Professional help can get you back on track.
Your response to the critical incident has lasted more than one month. If you have been experiencing a response to a single critical incident for more than 30 days past the incident, professional support can assist you with moving forward.
Your response to the incident is increasing in intensity. If your initial response was quiet and typical, and now you are having a harder time managing the reactions, we can help you to find peace and clarity.
You believe you would benefit from critical incident counseling. You know yourself best. And you are very intelligent. Follow your gut and get help.

We can help you get your control back!

We offer free 20-minute consultations with a licensed therapist who can help you understand if counseling would benefit you. 

How can counseling help me after a critical incident?

  • Reduces the distress associated with a CI. 

    In sessions with us, you can find ways of taking back control if your responses. You will learn how to keep your reactions to the incident from causing disruptions in your life.

  • Helps you understand what is going on.

    When you experience a CI, your brain and your body react in ways you may not understand. We can help you understand what is going on and how to keep it from controlling you.

  • Learn tools to calm your mind. 

    You can find peace and rest for the whirlwind going on inside your head. And not just tools to escape the pain, but to keep it from consuming you.

  • To become empowered. 

    CI stress can be overwhelming and can often feel like it is running your mind. You can learn how to gain control and fulfill your calling with a life that you enjoy.

  • Find your meaning. 

    Serving in the world of first responders is a calling, not a job. The darkness of CIs does not have to destroy your purpose, and you can find out how it fits into the story of your calling.

Critical Incident Counseling sessions last between 45-50 minutes and cost $110 per session. Sessions occur on average once every week or two weeks. Based on your goals and treatment needs, services can be as brief as 8-10 sessions or can be longer-term over a year or two.

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.

"I always thought it was me against the world. And then one day I realized it's just me against me."

Kendrick Lamar