Counseling for First Responders 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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General Enquiries

You’re Not Alone, We Can Help

Traumatic stress and fatigue associated with first responder jobs often lead 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.

You will benefit from counseling as a 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

veterans, military
  • EMT ambulance vehicle
  • firemen
  • First responder

Invest in Yourself

Counseling isn’t about changing who you’ve become 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 you know what to expect, and 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 360-558-7730.


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 individual is unique and the number of sessions will vary.

Some individuals’ will attend as few as 10-12 sessions, while others’ may attend 20 or more sessions to achieve the changes needed to maintain lasting relationship satisfaction.

Often we recommend weekly or bi-weekly 45-60 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 7017 NE Highway 99, Suite 206. Vancouver, WA 98665

Directions From I-5 Northbound

  1. Take exit 3 to merge onto NE Hwy 99/Main St toward Hazel Dell
  2. Merge onto NE Hwy 99/Main St
  3. Continue to follow NE Hwy 99
  4. Pass by McDonald’s (on the left in 1.0 mi)
  5. Destination will be on the right

Directions From I-5 Southbound

  1. Take exit 4 for NE 78th St
  2. Keep left at the fork to continue toward NE 78th St
  3. Slight left onto NE 78th St
  4. Turn right onto NE Hwy 99
  5. Destination will be on the left

Please enter through the back of the building (East side) of the building.

Parking: Free parking is available in the Collins Plaza where our offices are located at all hours. We are located inside the Collins Plaza, 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.

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 360.558.7730, or *email us at, 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 for your relationship.

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 accept most major insurances for massage therapy and counseling services. Please contact us today and will gladly check your insurance benefits.

Relationship Counseling or Couples Therapy is often not covered by 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; therefore, our relationship therapy services are not usually reimbursable.

Insurance companies get to decide how many sessions you are allowed to see us 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. Please discuss with your therapist if this is a concern.

Most people experience general confusion, sadness, anxiety, and struggle with general life transitions. But for many, these can pile on top of one another, and be too great to manage on your own. Making the decision to engage in individual counseling takes immense courage. You will take this courage and dedicate yourself to healing. In our experience, one of the most important aspects in your healing process is finding a place in which you can feel completely validated and heard. We strive to create an open, non-judgmental environment to walk with you on your journey of healing and building in hope.

When you work with one of our therapists’ you are investing in a therapist who has specific training and education to best fit your needs.

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.

Therapy sessions are typically 45-60 minutes, allowing time for deep and meaningful relationship work to take place. We do not typically book clients back-to-back so you receive the attention that you deserve and won’t experience the sense of being rushed.

If you have any other questions, please contact us

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