In this episode of Beyond the 1st Response, Christy and Robyn talk with Ashlee Gethner LCSW and first responder daughter who has her own private practice, Calming Waves Therapy.
First, I am a First Responder Daughter
Ashlee is currently working on her doctrine, focusing on first responders and their families. As a child of a now-retired police officer, she can see both sides of the badge and the struggles that occur. She carries pride and honor with her knowing the difference first responders make and understanding the toll it takes on the responder and their families. Not only does she work with first responders in a private setting, she also is contracted to go out during critical incident calls with the Kenosha Police department, Kenosha County, and surrounding cities.
Dissertation: Impact of Civil Unrest on Law Enforcement
- Social work
- Law enforcement focus
- Research of the impact on law enforcement and civil unrest
- What does it look like through the eyes of law enforcement
What Motivates Me
“I was listening to the first responder’s stories on what the environment is doing to their mental well-being.” Ashlee on recognizing that there are more first responders struggling.
First Responder Kids
Social media is fueling the confusion about who their parent is and what they really do for a living. Kids hear little bits and pieces of what other people say about police officers and this has caused them to question the morals and ethics of their parent. It’s not that they are embarrassed about what their parent does, they are scared. As the child of a first responder, Ashlee wishes she would have known when her Dad had terrible days at work.
What we can do to change that mindset:
- Have a conversation about what they do at work
- Give them tools to know it’s ok to open up and talk
- Make it a safe place to have conversations about what others are saying
- Never be afraid to talk with your children, no matter how bad the event.
KYPCIS- Kentucky Post Critical Incident Seminar
Ashlee attends as a therapist in this three-day seminar. During the three days, first responders participate in both large and small group events and see a therapist one-on-one. They come out understanding that they are not alone, which helps open the conversation to change for them. KYPCIS, is sponsored by Kentucky’s Department of Criminal Justice. Officers like Officer #2 tell their stories of why they got here, to how they can now see the other side.