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Therapy with First Responders

  • Saturday, May 13, 2023
  • 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Michael's at Shoreline, 2960 N Shoreline Blvd, Mountain View, CA


Registration is closed

Presented by Genevieve Altwer, LMFT

Includes 3 CE credits. This event will be in-person, live streamed, and recorded. There will be a 1/2 hour break for the luncheon buffet at 11:30 AM.

The goal of this program is for participants to be able to provide more clinically appropriate treatment to clients who work as first responders. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the complex issues associated with police officers and firefighters, will increase their ability to create rapport, identify trauma and moral injury, and implement therapy with increased competency.

The intersection of mental health and the work of First Responders is more popular now than ever. Police departments and fire departments are making mental health practices part of their ongoing efforts to increase awareness and improve how they respond to and serve our communities. As clinicians, we can also have an increased understanding of how to work with this unique population. As more First Responders are encouraged to seek mental health treatment, the need for clinicians in this field grows. Whether you desire to work with the first responder population or simply enjoy your favorite crime shows on Netflix, this presentation will increase your knowledge of the daily complexities for individuals working in police and fire services. Through lecture, real-life stories, and interactive participation, this workshop will introduce a new perspective to our first responders' everyday life and provide guidance and strategies on how to work within this field.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course participants will be able to:·     

  • Name three reasons for the importance of rapport building and treatment planning with first responders.
  • Identify four ways the  daily work life and training practices of first responders  impacts relationships and family at home.
  • Name one element that makes a moral injury different than PTSD.
  • List four coping skills to help first responders cope with anxiety, depression, anger, and trauma.
  • Identify one difference between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

      About the Presenter

      Genevieve Altwer is a psychotherapist based in San Jose, California. She specializes in working with First Responders and adults living with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. She speaks at conferences across the country on mental health and wellness for First Responders. For 14 years, she served as Police Officer for the city of San Mateo. Her time there included Sexual Assault Investigations, Field Training, Critical Incident Response, and Hostage Negotiations. Genevieve has a MA Criminal Justice from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and a MA in Counseling Psychology from JFK University. Genevieve actively volunteers for local non-profit community organizations including advocacy and mentoring for  families living with Autism and other community organizations. At home, she lives with her husband, two active teenage daughters, and one very loving Labradoodle named Elvis. 


      American Psychiatric Association. (2022). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed., text rev.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425787

      Calhoun, L. G., & Tedeschi, R. G. (2013). Posttraumatic growth in clinical practice. New York, NY: Routledge.

      Evans, W. R., Walser, R. D., Drescher, K. D., & Farnsworth, J. K. (2020). The moral injury workbook: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy skills for moving beyond shame, anger, and trauma to reclaim your values. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

      Kates, A. R. (2008). CopShock: Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Tucson, AZ: Holbrook Street Press.

      Kirschman, E. (2006). I Love a cop: What police families need to know. (Rev. ed.) New York, NY: Guilford Press.


      If you miss any of the presentation, you will not be eligible for the CEUs. This course meets the qualifications of 3 continuing education credits for LMFTs, LPCCs, LEPs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.
      SCV-CAMFT is a CAMFT-approved continuing education provider (CEPA 052466).

      The views expressed in presentations made at SCV-CAMFT meetings or events are those of the speaker and not, necessarily, of SCV-CAMFT. Presentations at SCV-CAMFT events do not constitute an endorsement of the vendor or speaker's views, products or services.

      Event Policy Information

      SCV-CAMFT               P.O. Box 60814, Palo Alto, CA 94306               mail@scv-camft.org             408-721-2010

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