First Responders Counseling 2017-12-13T04:17:37+00:00

Project Description

First Responders Counseling in Vancouver, Wa

First Responders face a range of unique health and mental health consequences as a result of the critical work you do in our community.

Though committed to running toward danger to provide unwavering support and assistance, many first responders like yourself are reluctant to seek assistance when they need it.  Those that do seek assistance through mental health counseling often find that they spend the first several sessions trying to explain to the counselor what it is like to be a deputy, police officer, fire fighter, paramedic, etc. as the counselor.  It has probably felt like the counselor can’t relate.

Having a counselor here at Compass who was a former law enforcement officer, you can rest assured that you will not have to “debrief” your therapist, translate code, or apologize for what you say or how you say it. We are aware of how difficult it can be for individuals in these fields to be able to seek help for these stressors and how meaningful that help can be.

We know daily stressors can add up to create larger problems when they are not adequately dealt with. Many times people in these positions are expected to (or at least they believe they are expected to) deal with their problems on their own, often leading to feelings of isolation.

At Compass, you are don’t have to spend your valuable time and money explaining these things, but can instead immediately begin sharing and processing the issues that brought you to counseling.



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You will benefit from counseling for first responders if:


  • You feel your career is causing a burden on relationships with family and friends

  • You feel alone in your thoughts, emotions, and feelings


  • You have a high level of stress on the job and away from it

  • You feel angry or tense often

Traumatic stress and fatigue associated with these jobs leads to higher than average rates of depression, alcohol and substance abuse, and marital tensions.

Additionally, volunteers and many part-time employees in this field have little or reduced access to mental health and support. Families of First Responders also experience a significant unique stressor that others can’t understand: their loved one might not come home from work. These family members can also find compassion and support at Compass from a therapist who was a first responder, who remains married to one after 17 years, and is raising children who also experience the unique concerns and struggles associated with being part of a First Responder family.

We will help you experience a holistic approach to managing your life as a first responder. Through increased connections and understanding you will know that we are here to help. Call today to get started.


  • police officer, first responder
  • first responder dispatch
  • first responder paramedic
  • first responder in front of police car, police officer, police,

Invest in Yourself

Counseling should not seek to change what has become part of you as a first responder: you should continue to carry concealed, sit in a restaurant facing the door, memorize license plates. Counseling should help you celebrate who you are now and help you remember what was uniquely a part of you before you started your job.

Being crass, cynical, and pissed off as a means of self-preservation is totally normal in this line of work.  However, counseling allows you to process the negative aspects of the job in a healthy way, and of life in general, to get back to being the kind of person, friend, partner, and parent you want to be. There can be a healthy balance of work and personal life. First responder counseling will help you find balance.

It’s time to start investing in yourself at least as much as you invest in our community.

Individual Counseling Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? Compass wants the therapeutic process to be transparent, so that you know what to expect, and that you feel comfortable. We understand that talking to someone new can bring up feelings of fear and uncertainty for some, so we hope that these questions ease those feelings and bring a certain level of readiness and comfort to seeking help with any one of our therapists at Compass Whole Health.  Check out some of the frequently asked questions in the list below.

If your question isn’t answered here, give us a call at 360-828-5350.


Our current regular fees are as follows. Payment for each session is due at the time of your session. Our office accepts cash, checks and all major credit cards (including HSA). Please make your checks payable to Compass Community Counseling, LLC.

  • $100 per 60-minute individual first responder counseling session.
  • $150 per 60-minute couple/family first responder counseling session
  • $100/hour, prorated for actual call length for Phone/Video session
  • Full Session Fee for No Show/Late Cancel (outside of 24 hours)
  • $25 Returned Check Fee

Couples therapy is an investment in your relationship. How important is it to you to have a healthy relationship with your partner? What is it worth to you?

Think of it this way. You may save up a couple thousand dollars to go on an awesome vacation with your partner. Sure, it’s a beautiful place, you have some delicious meals, and your hotel is quite nice. But if your relationship is suffering, your vacation may not be all that you dreamed it would be. Just because you are on vacation does not mean that the negativity and distance within your relationship stays at home.

Another way of looking at your investment in couples therapy is asking yourself if the success and quality of your most significant relationship is as important as your sofa, or the upgraded package on your car – because the cost is about the same.

Additionally, a bad relationship can have negative impacts on both your health and your wallet. Toxic relationships have been shown to shorten your lifespan and are responsible for deteriorating your physical and mental health. Not only is dealing with health concerns expensive, divorce averages $15,000 and adds the expense of maintaining separate households.

If you are seeking couples therapy and you are unsure of the financial commitment, feel free to give us a call anyway. We can provide referrals to other therapists in the area who accept insurance. And, depending upon your current need, we can discuss other resources such as workshops and books that may be helpful as you decide your readiness for couples therapy.

You are probably anticipating the answer “it depends” – and you would be correct. It is impossible to predict the total number of sessions needed, as each person is unique and the number of sessions will vary.

Some first responders will attend as few as 6 sessions, while others may attend 20 or more sessions to achieve the changes needed to maintain lasting  satisfaction.

Often we recommend weekly or bi-weekly 60 minute sessions at the start of counseling to help build needed trust and comfort in the counseling relationship. Weekly appointments may also facilitate more active progress toward goals. As progress toward initial goals are made, it may be helpful to spread the sessions further apart. We will discuss what is right for you as we work together.

Our address is 613 E McLoughlin Blvd. Vancouver, WA 98663

Directions From I5 Northbound

  1. Take Exit 1C, (City Center/Mill Plain Blvd). Left at the light (Mill Plain)
  2. East on Mill Plain, turn left at the second light (Ft. Vancouver Way)
  3. Proceed one block. Turn left at the light (McLoughlin Blvd).
  4. Travel west approximately 1/4 of a mile.
  5. 613 E. McLoughlin is on the south side.

Directions From I5 Southbound

  1. Take Exit 1C, (Mill Plain Blvd). Stay right, merge onto Mill Plain eastbound,
  2. East on Mill Plain, turn left at the second light (Ft. Vancouver Way)
  3. Proceed one block. Turn left at the light (McLoughlin Blvd).
  4. Travel west approximately 1/4 of a mile.
  5. 613 E. McLoughlin is on the south side.

Please enter through the North front door of the building. Because we are a small private practice we do not have a receptionist for check-in, we complete this process ourselves.

Parking: Unmetered street parking is available in front of our offices at all hours. We are located just west of Clark College and the Marshall Center, just minutes from I-5.

ADA Accessible: We are an ADA accessible office. If special accommodations are necessary, please do not hesitate to ask when you are scheduling your consult.

Private practices typically don’t have set hours. Our therapists work by appointment only, and each therapist sets their schedule. Some work days only, some work nights and weekends. If you need a particular time frame or day of the week, contact our intake line to discuss this.

Do your research. Review online directories, such as Psychology Today, to compare different therapists in your area and search by specialties. Check out the therapist’s website, paying special attention to see if their message resonates with you.

Many therapists offer services to first responders; however, not all have the real life experiences or a past career as a first responder.

You should feel comfortable with the therapist. Research indicates that the most important factor contributing to the success of therapy is the relationship between the therapist and their clients. This means that the relationship you have with your therapist is more important than the therapists’ education and training, more important than the model of therapy the therapist uses, and even more important than the years of experience of the therapist.

Most therapists will offer an initial phone consultation. Take advantage of this opportunity to connect with potential therapists. You should be able to determine if you would feel comfortable working with the therapist within the first few minutes of the conversation.

Click here to schedule a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to determine if we are a good fit. If the available times do not work with your schedule, call or *text 360.836.4439, or *email us at infoinfo@compasswholehealth.com, to request another time for your consultation.

This phone conversation will give us a chance to interview each other – but not in the anxiety provoking interview way. This will be more of a getting-to-know you talk. We want to ensure that you are getting exactly what you need.

Please note that as therapists’ most of our days are spent having uninterrupted time with clients; therefore, we are not always immediately available. We encourage you to leave a message and we will return your call at our earliest convenience.

*Note that text and email are not secure methods of communication. Please reserve text and email communication for scheduling a time for consultation only. We can discuss the details of your particular situation during our phone consultation.

We do not accept insurance. The purpose of insurance is for the diagnosis and treatment of a mental illness. Insurance companies do not recognize relationship concerns as a mental illness and are often not reimbursable. Insurance companies get to decide how many sessions you are allowed to see your counselor and they dictate the services that we provide. Insurance companies also require a diagnosis, which becomes part of your permanent medical record and can disqualify you from certain careers or promotions.

Having a private pay therapist means that you will have more control over your treatment. You will not receive a mental health diagnosis and your session notes will not be submitted to an outside third party. We will be able to freely work together in a way that honors your unique situation and we can tailor our approach to best fit your needs.

When you work with one of our therapists’ you are investing in a therapist who has specific training, education, and experience working with first responders.

We only see a limited number of clients in our practice so you can expect to receive the utmost care and consideration in regards to your relationship needs.

Seeing a carefully selected number of clients allows us to devote time to understanding your specific relationship outside of our sessions together. We will have ample time to review notes, tailor our approaches and interventions to your specific needs, and keep up to date on the latest developments in the field so that you are receiving state-of-the-art treatment.

We work hard to not book clients back-to-back so you will receive the attention that you deserve and you will not experience the sense of being rushed.

You may always call your therapist to cancel or reschedule an appointment. Our office policy is that all cancellations and reschedules must be 24 business hours before the scheduled appointment to avoid a fee. Late cancellations and no shows have our full rate fee that is charged to the client.

If you have any other questions, please contact us

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