1771 Robson St #1364, Vancouver, BC V6G 1C9


First Responder Counselling

Psychotherapy that works for Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces, Police and Other First Responders

Vancouver online therapy


First Responder Counselling can be hugely beneficial for veterans and many individuals serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, police, ambulance and more. Not only can it help with recovery in getting back to work better and stronger, but it can enhance effectiveness in the work you’re currently doing now. 

It is common to encounter traumatic events on the job when you’re a first responder. Despite high levels of training, sometimes even the smallest of events can leave a mark on you.

This is nothing to be ashamed of.

First Responder Counselling

People react to these events not because of the magnitude of the event, but how the mind is processing data in that given moment.  If first responder counselling is not sought out, these traumas can compound and significantly disrupt your quality of life, your relationships, your sleep, and your ability to work or serve in the future.

Perhaps that’s why you’re here right now.

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans, police, and other first responders are frequently exposed to highly stressful and traumatic experiences. This can present in the form of acute stress response, vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety or panic, and depression to name a few.  Check out our page on trauma and PTSD to learn more.

A series of multiple events over time, or even just one event can leave a lasting imprint on the subconscious part of your mind, requiring you to seek help to speed your recovery. As a first responder, it is useful to consider counselling early on, when you notice things shifting. Preventative care will keep you doing what you are called to do, for longer.


  • Flashbacks to an unpleasant or traumatic event
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Survivor’s guilt
  • Excessive use of alcohol or other substances
  • Self-destructive behaviors (ie: problem gambling)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Feeling disconnected from loved ones or friends
  • Avoiding people, places, or events that remind you of a trauma
First Responder Counselling

One of the most prominent repercussions of trauma and PTSD in first responders is the onset of depression. This condition often leads to a pervasive loss of interest not only in relationships but also in once-loved personal interests and activities. 

The weight of depression can be overwhelming, making it difficult for veterans and active-duty members to connect with their loved ones in the same way they once did. Individuals may experience a pervasive lack of energy, which can translate into reduced engagement and enthusiasm within their relationships. 

Coupled with this, sleep disturbances are common among those dealing with trauma-related mental health conditions. Sleepless nights and chronic fatigue can erode the patience and resilience necessary for maintaining healthy connections with others and top performance on the job.

Furthermore, anxiety often becomes a persistent companion for first responders coping with trauma and PTSD. This anxiety can manifest as constant worry and anxious thoughts, causing distress and making it challenging to be fully present in relationships. 


Fortunately, there have been substantial advancements in trauma-informed healthcare over recent decades, for first responders. Today, a wide array of proven therapeutic approaches for trauma treatment exist. Full recovery is more attainable than ever before.  

It is just a matter of finding the right key to unlock the door to your unique healing journey. Here are just some of the most popular approaches used right now in first responder counselling (all of which are offered here at FreeMind Therapy):



Veterans Affair Canada Counselling with Medavie Blue Cross

It’s understandable that you may be worried counselling or talking about feelings might not be your thing. However many of the new approaches are not old-school traditional talk therapy. New and innovative treatments like Rapid Resolution therapy and EMDR can have you feeling better in just a few sessions.

While treatment for veterans dealing with trauma and PTSD can be overwhelming, there are proven methods for getting you results now.

Returning from service or taking a break, often means carrying the concealed wounds of trauma, which can profoundly affect mental well-being. Taking action to care for this part of your health is crucial. For Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces, police and other first responders, therapy stands as an indispensable resource for support. 

Through counselling and therapy, first responders can gain effective strategies to overcome their depression, anxiety, trauma, and PTSD. There is also family and relationship counselling that can be super helpful in the healing process as well. 

With the right support and treatment, first responders can recover from the effects of trauma and live fulfilling lives.


  • Check out our team page to match with a therapist, or;
  • Give us a call and we will personally match you with a therapist based on your presenting issues (604-337-8577), or;
  • Book a free consultation here to get started right away!

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