48 King William St Unit 2, Huntsville, ON P1H 1G3 | 10 Mississaga St E, Orillia, ON L3V 1V7

Veritas Psychotherapy & Counselling Logo | Therapy in Orillia, Huntsville, & Across Ontario

Therapy for First Responders and Helping Professionals

Heroes Need Support Too

Dedicated mental health support to empower first responders, veterans, and helping professionals to thrive.

Heal & Manage Traumatic Experiences

Prevent Burnout & Fatigue

Develop Coping Skills for Job Stress

"How Do I Carry All This?"

Those in the trenches of emergency response and caregiving carry an invisible weight. Every day, first responders, veterans, and helping professionals are confronted with the pain, crisis, and trauma of others. Every call answered, every patient cared for adds another layer of stress to the burden. It’s a job that doesn’t get left at the office; it follows you home, creeping into your thoughts, relationships, and sleep. The strength you show the world sometimes falters when you’re alone.

We understand the weight you carry and offer a safe space to lay it down and sort through it, together.

Veritas Psychotherapy & Counselling

Diving deeper into therapy for first responders and veterans

Whether you’re a first responder, a veteran, or a helping professional such as a nurse, personal support worker, or social worker, navigating through the unique challenges that come with your role can be an isolating journey. Daily, you’re met with situations that demand your emotional, mental, and sometimes physical strength.

It’s not unusual for the echoes of these experiences to linger, influencing your peace of mind and well-being. We can provide you with the tools and support you need to regain balance and strength.

Some common areas where therapy can help:

In the fast-paced, high-pressure environments of emergency response and caregiving, stress and anxiety are common companions. They can manifest as constant worry, restlessness, or even physical symptoms like sleep disturbances and fatigue. Each emergency, every crisis tackled, doesn’t just dissipate; they often accumulate, becoming a silent burden. Therapy offers a confidential, non-judgemental space to unpack these experiences, learn coping mechanisms, and develop strategies to manage and alleviate stress effectively.

First responders, helping professionals, and veterans often face traumatic events that can lead to trauma or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Symptoms like flashbacks, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about these incidents can persist, affecting daily life and well-being. Veterans, especially, may experience these challenges amplified by the memories of combat and the transition to civilian life.

In therapy, we address PTSD with practical approaches to ease these symptoms. Individuals learn strategies to manage anxiety and intrusive thoughts, working towards mental freedom and improved well-being. Our support is focused, respectful, and tailored to each person’s unique experience and needs.

In professions where you’re constantly caring for others, the emotional toll can sometimes be immense. Both compassion fatigue and burnout stem from the relentless demands of the job. Compassion fatigue surfaces when the continuous exposure to others’ pain and struggles drains one’s emotional reserves, leading to feelings of detachment or overwhelming sadness. Burnout, on the other hand, is a broader exhaustion that affects not only emotions but also physical health and overall job performance. It comes with fatigue, a sense of being emotionally drained, and a decreased sense of accomplishment in work. Therapy offers a solution to both these challenges. It provides strategies and tools to refill the emotional tank, balance personal well-being with the demands of the job, and rekindle the passion and purpose in your profession. Our aim is to help you recognize the signs early on, address the root causes, and rebuild resilience and vitality.
Balancing professional obligations and personal relationships can become a complex dance for first responders and helping professionals. The intensity of the job can spill over, affecting connections with family and friends. Therapy helps in creating a bridge between these two worlds, offering strategies to enhance communication, understanding, and strengthen bonds.
The stress and emotional toll of work can sometimes lead individuals down the path of substance use as a means of coping. It’s not a failure, but a sign of the immense pressure endured. Therapy offers a non-judgemental space to explore underlying issues, providing support and strategies to build healthier coping mechanisms and forge a path towards recovery.
The nature of emergency and care work, with its irregular hours and emotional intensity, can significantly impact sleep quality. Restless nights, insomnia, or nightmares can become unwelcome companions. In therapy, we explore relaxation techniques, cognitive strategies, and behavioural changes that promote restorative sleep, contributing to overall well-being.
For those always in the role of the helper, seeking help can sometimes feel like an insurmountable hurdle, exacerbated by the stigma surrounding mental health in these professions. Therapy provides a confidential, supportive environment to unburden without judgement, addressing mental health concerns with respect, and discretion.
You’re not alone. Together, we can sort through the turmoil and help you heal and thrive.


Why work with Veritas Psychotherapy

At Veritas Psychotherapy, we recognize the bravery and sacrifices of first responders, veterans, and helping professionals. Every individual has a unique story, and each story is honoured and valued in our space. At our office you will find:

Core Healing

We focus on identifying and healing the root causes of trauma, facilitating genuine freedom and inner peace.


Our strategies bolster inner strength and resilience, equipping you to navigate both personal and professional challenges.

Fostering Connections

Gain tools to nurture and strengthen relationships, building a supportive network that amplifies overall well-being.

Joseph Hoyda, Therapist in Orillia, Huntsville, and Online across Ontario
Joseph Hoyda MA, RP
Clinic Founder, PhD Candidate

Therapists Specializing in Therapy for First Responders

Brenda Tichler, Huntsville Therapist

Brenda Tichler

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)
Chelsea Howard, Registered Social Worker in Orillia and online across Ontario

Chelsea Howard

Registered Social Worker
Katrina Brown, Registered Social Worker and Psychotherapist in Orillia and online across Ontario

Katrina Brown

Registered Social Worker, Registered Psychotherapist
Joseph Hoyda, Therapist in Orillia, Huntsville, and Online across Ontario

Joseph Hoyda

Registered Psychotherapist

Our Approach

How Our First Responder Therapy Works

Sowing seeds outside | Step one of the therapy process is to understand the client's story

We understand your story

During the first session, we will focus on getting a better understanding of your challenges in order to build a connection that will encourage openness.

Growing plants outside | Step two of the therapy process is to identify the client's needs

We identify your needs

After identifying the root of your challenges, we develop a plan tailored to helping you with the emotions and behaviours that will create lasting, positive change.

Nurturing plants outside | Step three of the therapy process is to help the client heal and grow

We help you process and heal

We provide you with tools you need to identify and manage the triggers and situations that come up in your everyday life to help maintain lasting change.

Female veteran hugging child

Questions About Therapy for First Responders & Helping Professionals

A first responder refers to individuals who are typically among the first to arrive and provide assistance during emergencies or crisis situations. First responders include police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians.

On the other hand, helping professionals encompasses a broader category including nurses, social workers, mental health counsellors, and support workers in long-term care facilities. These professionals are united by their commitment to assist, care for, and ensure the safety and well-being of others in various settings and situations.

Therapy can be a crucial support for first responders and helping professionals, who often face high-stress environments and traumatic events. It offers a safe, confidential space to process these experiences, reducing the risk of mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or PTSD.

In therapy, individuals learn coping strategies, gain insights into their emotional responses, and receive support to manage the unique stresses of their roles. This support can lead to improved mental well-being, enhanced job performance, and better personal relationships.

Yes, confidentiality is a cornerstone of the therapeutic process. Every conversation within the therapy session is kept private and confidential. We adhere to strict ethical guidelines to ensure that your personal information, including the details shared during sessions, is protected. Exceptions to this confidentiality occur only in cases of imminent danger to yourself or others, or as legally required.

The frequency of therapy sessions can vary depending on individual needs and preferences. Typically, many first responders and helping professionals start with weekly sessions to establish a rapport with the therapist and begin the process of addressing and managing their specific concerns.

Over time, as progress is made, the frequency of sessions can be adjusted. The therapist will collaborate with you to determine the best schedule for your needs.

Absolutely. Therapy is particularly beneficial for addressing the unique work-related stresses and traumas faced by first responders and helping professionals.

Through individualized therapeutic approaches, clients can process traumatic events, manage stress, and develop coping skills that are essential for maintaining mental and emotional well-being in high-pressure and traumatic work environments. This leads to improved job satisfaction, reduced risk of burnout, and enhanced overall quality of life.

Have more questions?

What you can expect from therapy for veterans and first responders

Smiling police officers

Get Started

Start Your Therapy Journey

If you have questions about therapy, our services, or anything else, send us a message! We’d love to hear from you.

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If you’re ready to get started with therapy, you can book an appointment directly online using our secure booking platform. You can also request an appointment by submitting our contact form or calling us. We can help you get booked in! Please visit our team page to book directly with a therapist.

Veritas Psychotherapy

Therapy to help you gain the freedom you need to move your life forward.