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Resilient Responders

Helping first responders and front line staff avoid and overcome work related PTSD and Burnout

PTSD and burnout are common problems for first responders and community workers which can devastate lives. The human and economic cost of this problem is enormous for both workers and organisations.

Being constantly exposed to the trauma experienced by others, as well as danger and disaster, can take a heavy toll on workers. Once work related PTSD has begun it quickly disables people and deeply impacts their life.


Typically there are four outcomes - sad, mad, bad or better.


Sad refers to the state of depression and hopelessness that many people start to experience when constantly confronted by human suffering. Low mood, emotional lability, lack of motivation, lack of interest in pleasurable activities, poor sleep, poor health and despair are common symptoms. This usually leads to anxiety, burnout, stress leave and employee attrition.


Mad refers to the way that some people adapt to constant exposure by becoming constantly angry, short tempered, cynical and emotionally disengaged - often leading to substance issues and broken relationships, as well as contributing to toxic work cultures.

Bad refers to the way some people adapt by becoming emotionally detached, aggressive, controlling and even corrupt. They are controlling their trauma symptoms by trying to control others. When people have gotten to this stage they are profoundly toxic to themselves, their families and their colleagues.

Better is what we are aiming for. Better means people have learned how to cope with constant exposure to trauma and danger in healthy and resourceful ways that put their own life on track again, and make them better at their work into the bargain.


  • Improved staff and volunteer retention

  • Better work culture and morale

  • Better service delivery

  • Reduced absenteeism

  • Improved Productivity


This is a 8 hour interactive workshop that gives your staff the skills to help prevent and overcome vicarious trauma. It  covers:

  • The neuropsychology of trauma and how it forms in response to exposure

  • How to spot the subtle signs of trauma in yourself, your colleagues and your clients

  • What makes us susceptible to vicarious and work related trauma, and what to do about it

  • How our personal values lead us into trauma, and how they can bring us back out

  • Strategies to prevent vicarious trauma and be more resilient in the face of suffering and danger

  • Strategies to overcome trauma and regain functioning

  • Self care and help seeking strategies


Duration: 8 hours

Times: By arrangement

Audience: All frontline staff, supervisors and managers of frontline staff

Cost: By arrangement with the organisation


Adam is a psychologist with 30 years experience treating trauma. He holds degrees in trauma and psychology and specialises in working with complex trauma and personality disorders.

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