PTSI - Dr. Tillman and Ben's Story Pt. 1


Steve, Dan and Holly introduce Dr. Brenda Tillman and Ben Wescott in their seventh podcast. Dr. Tillman discusses her experience as a clinician, and Ben introduces himself. Dr. Tillman details the difference between PTSD and PTSI, and why those differences are important when diagnosing first responders. Counseling programs for first responders are overviewed, as well as the training process for counselors counseling first responders. 

Dr. Tillman reviews the process of EMDR and why it is effective for improving symptoms of PTSI and PTSD. The physiological effects of PTSD and PTSI are detailed. Steve talks about his experience with EMDR. Coping mechanisms in first responders are debated. Dr. Tillman talks about the importance of normalizing the symptoms of PTSI in first responders, and why peer support group and counseling is so essential. 

Learning Points:

  • Dr. Tillman specializes in individuals with high stress jobs, including military and first responders
  • Ben Wescott is a 16 year career paramedic/firefighter
  • Post traumatic stress injury is not yet defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 DSM-5
  • PTSD is typically diagnosed when signs and symptoms of PTSI continue for 30 or more days
  • PTSI is not covered by insurance because it is not yet defined in the DSM-5
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and EMDR are all methods proven to help individuals process traumatic events
  • EMDR allows the mind to process traumatic events and store them correctly in the brain
  • Cumulative stress can cause PTSI, not just a singular traumatic event
  • Know the resources available to you at your agency
  • Having a trustworthy person to talk about difficult calls and distressing behaviors is important in reducing PTSI and the risk of suicide

Content Creator: Steve Williams
CAPCE Course Number: 20-EMTP-F3-9702
NJ Course Number: 141146
Total CE Hours: 1
Level: Baisc