Preferred Name

Donna Garber

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Lennis Echterling

Amanda Evans

Debbie Sturm



This paper examines the counseling and psychological needs of first responders, as a special population with special needs. It also proposes how counselors can address these needs. Included is a review of relevant literature and concludes with strategies counselors could implement to respond effectively to direct and vicarious trauma experienced by first responders. There is also information related to pre-incident and post-incident care and addresses issues that impact this population’s response to care, ability to seek care, and the overall understanding of what mental health care really means to this group.



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