This Hurts… Grief in First Responders and Family Members

By Dr. Tania Glenn, Psy.D, LCSW, CCTP

These are very tough times for many first responders and their family members across America, as law enforcement, fire, EMS and air medical find themselves dealing not only with the furnace blast traumas associated with public safety, they are also confronting the complexities of the grief process and attempting to heal after the very painful loss of their friends and coworkers.

In twenty-six years of practice, I have found that many first responders are not properly equipped with the tools or abilities to heal from grief.  Public safety folks are very good at fixing problems quickly, creatively and efficiently.  Over time, many of our police, fire and EMS professionals attempt to adopt this strategy for their personal lives and problems.  They soon realize that this does not necessarily work, and they experience a significant amount of frustration on top of everything else they are going through.

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