Since 2011 I have maintained a blog. At first the entries dealt with topics of interest to parents of cadets at The Citadel, then they were my reflections as the mom of an Army officer. With this entry the focus is changing to reflections and essays of interest to first responders and others who, in the course of their work, are exposed to traumatic events.
I am entering my 4th year as the Chaplain for the Roswell (GA) Fire Department. It is a consulting position, but one I feel particularly called to. My study of traumatic stress began in the late 1990′ while I was a master of divinity student at Columbia Theological Seminary. While taking pastoral care classes learning about self-care for pastors, I realized my journalist friends could use the same advice.
My early professional career was spent in the press rooms/boxes of college sports. I worked in sports information which is the public relations office for college athletics. At the various games I’d hear stories, mainly from the photographers and videographers, about scenes they had covered before arriving to the game. Scenes that involved violence and sometimes death. A videographer for a local television station told me a stat that stayed with me. When the lists of most dangerous careers are published photographers and videographers are toward the top of the list. To do their jobs well they have to get close to the event. This fact stayed with me a propelled me on a course that gave me a purpose, supporting people who in the course of their work are exposed to traumatic experiences.
Since 2000 I have studied traumatic stress, attended several meetings of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies, and The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma where I met world renown experts in the field whom I now consider mentors and friends. You can read more about my background and training on my LinkedIn profile.
In the months and years to come I hope this site will be a source of information and support to first responders of all types. If you’d like to follow the blog, please submit your email through the link on this page. Please share any entries you find helpful.
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