Are you finding it difficult to unwind from work?

Do you experience chronic stress from your line of work?

Could your shooting precision use improvement?

Neurofeedback for First Responders is a non-negotiable, but before we get into our spiel, we want to thank you.

Thank you for being the first in line with emergencies and for your dedication, courage and the difference you make for so many. Your commitment to service even when it means putting yourself in life-threatening situations does not go unnoticed.

If you are a First Responder, Firefighter, Paramedic, Police, or Dispatcher, you don’t need me to tell you about the stressors of your job — the risks for depression, PTSD, suicidal ideation, suicide or anxiety. You live with these stressors everyday and often keep them to yourselves, believing it’s an expectation of the job. When your job is to respond to emergencies and help protect and save lives, it can be hard to ask for help.

According to a 2018 Supplemental Research Bulletin from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Technical Assistance Center, about three in 10 first responders live with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Trauma is a factor that First Responders are typically exposed to each shift. As a First Responder, you may experience personal trauma, face a life and death experience or injury, or are chronically exposed to vicarious trauma. This shows up in psychological and physical issues related to work.

While our brain and body are designed to cope with fear, stress, and danger, they’re not designed to stay in these activated states for prolonged periods of time. As First Responders, your exposure to trauma and crisis mean your neurophysiological systems related to keeping any individual safe are constantly in overdrive.

Your brain’s stress response system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, may especially be thrown out of whack with the prolonged, repeated exposure to stress. The overexposure First Responders experience on a daily basis can cause brain cells to age more rapidly, contribute to mood disturbances such as anxiety & depression, along with PTSD and overall brain functioning.  

Neurofeedback for First Responders

We’re passionate about supporting the emotional, mental, and physical needs of First Responders. Our goal is to help with the prevention of mental health issues. In particular, we want to regulate the brain of First Responders and help them to recover in healthy ways. The idea is to counterbalance the stressors of your job, regulate your emotions and increase First Responder’s quality of life.

Neurofeedback is a learning process for the brain that enables it to function more efficiently and appropriately. In short, Neurofeedback helps First Responders live more fulfilling lives. Learn about neurofeedback’s benefits for trauma and PTSD here.

Typical benefits include:  

  • Stress management and optimal performance  
  • Better decision making and composure under pressure  
  • Improved situational awareness   
  • Increased clarity, focus, serenity  
  • Confidence, calm assertiveness  
  • Improved sleep habits, waking more refreshed  
  • Easier transition between states of high alert and relaxation  
  • Improved personal relationships  
  • Less irritability  
  • Reduced self doubt, rumination and feelings of guilt or failure  
  • Easier to shake off negative events or feelings  
  • Ability to leave work at work, unwind when off duty  
  • Less burnout  
  • Panic and anxiety management
  • Building emotional resilience
  • Improving mood, concentration, focus and attention
  • Enhanced learning and cognitive performance
  • Boosting motivation and energy
  • Learning to manage addictions, destructive habits and cravings

Transitioning from off to Work Hours

NeurOptimal® neurofeedback training can help in the transition from work hours to off-duty hours. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, “The psychological stress that police officers experience in their day to day work puts them at a higher risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and other physical and mental health ailments.” As a result of poor mental and physical health, their performance can wane, negatively impacting themselves, their family and the community. Neurofeedback is proactive in preventing the emotional baggage that stressful events can harbour.

Although it is normal to be high-alert on the job, remaining hyper-vigilant is unhelpful when no danger is present. Regular NeurOptimal® neurofeedback sessions can decrease stress levels for First Responders and allow them to unwind peacefully.

Increased Performance on the Job

NeurOptimal® can dramatically increase performance in a number of professions and sports by calming the CNS, increasing energy and focus — among many other benefits. In fact, a study conducted on police officers demonstrated that neurofeedback sessions improved shooting capabilities significantly, specifically among novice shooters.

First Responders must respond swiftly to situations, maintaining sharp awareness of their environment. One wrong move could be the difference between life or death. NeurOptimal® training makes it easier to switch gears and change course when appropriate. 

If you’re a First Responder experiencing unhelpful emotions, thoughts and behaviours, you’re not alone. At Wiseman Counselling Services, we wish to give back to those who work diligently to protect us and create a healthier, more balanced culture predicated on healing.