By Shannon Clairemont – First Responder & Family Wellness
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) encourages first responders in recovery treatment to recognize and stop negative patterns of thinking and behavior. Since our cognition affects our well-being, changing harmful thought patterns is essential. The essence of CBT is an assumption that a first responders mood is directly related to his or her patterns of thought. For example, CBT can help first responders be aware of the stressors, situations, and feelings that lead to substance misuse so that the one can avoid them or act differently when they occur. Negative, dysfunctional thinking affects a person’s mood, behavior, self-worth, and even physical state. The goal of CBT is to help first responders learn to recognize negative patterns of thought, evaluate their validity, and replace them with healthier ways of thinking.
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What happens to the family of a first responder when tragedy strikes? Well, it depends on the tragedy. If an officer gets a physical injury while on duty, there will be support from all over. I can remember when we endured our first shooting, there was a sea of officers from one end of the hospital to the other. In the following days and weeks, people brought food, cards, helped with the children, and much more. It was a very difficult time for our family. The support made it so much easier on all of us. There was a constant flow of messages, visits, cards, etc. We knew we had support. There were still difficult days, but the support was there.
A few years later, when PTSD crept into our lives, there was utter silence. There was no one coming with food. There were no cards. There were no messages. People avoided us like we had the plague. As he slipped deeper into PTSD, I found myself completely isolated and alone as I tackled daily life. My days were spent working, caring for the children, cleaning, cooking, running to practices, and all the while trying to determine his mental state every day to determine what would be of utmost importance that day.
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By Safe Call Now Admin Staff:
Evidence-based treatment is an important phrase in the medical world because it means that treatments have been proven to be effective in a large portion of the population. According to the journal “Health Policy,” the best definition of evidence-based practice is “The integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise”. In the field of recovery research, this is often related to behavioral therapies and pharmacotherapies, or medications used to help a person quit abusing drugs and/or alcohol.
The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies uses an analogy of evidence-based treatment as a three-legged stool. The first leg of the stool is the best available research and scientific evidence that has helped people in recovery. The second leg is a patient’s values and preferences. The third leg is a recovery expert’s own clinical experience. When these three components come together, they provide a sturdy, well-designed method to help an individual overcome their addiction.
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