Psychological Survival in a Violent Career

Psychological Survival in a Violent Career

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Part One of this webinar originally occurred in 2018
Duration: 1.5 hours

Part Two (Follow-Up) of this webinar originally occurred on May 30, 2019
Duration: 1.5 hours


Dr. David Christiansen discussed some of the relevant issues which affect law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders.  These concepts also apply to those who are affected by secondary traumatization such as crime scene investigators, attorneys and others who are in frequent contact with images or information regarding gruesome acts of violence.  Dr. Christiansen hopes to help those who have been exposed to such information by providing ideas to prevent or inoculate psychological trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder and a plethora of other negative consequences which can result from multiple exposure to crime scenes either directly or through the collection of data for the judicial process.

Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters, Paramedics, EMTs, crime scene investigators and others are frequently exposed to human tragedy on a regular basis yet few have purposely developed a coping strategy for dealing with this repeated exposure.  Dr. Christiansen presented an explanation of how persons come to believe things to be true on a philosophical level, followed by a model of the human brain which helps to explain how trauma affects persons in a profound way.  This philosophical/psychological model is used to show how trauma can negatively affect one’s personal and/or professional life and the various consequences that are often observed in those who do not deal effectively with this repeated exposure.  Dr. Christiansen presented some real life examples of trauma, the negative consequences, and positive steps a person may use to alleviate the emotional toil such exposure may bring.  This webinar was a very brief introduction to Dr. Christiansen’s training “Psychological Survival in a Violent Career” which he has provided to many different agencies.

Detailed Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will be able to identify three different ways that persons accept information into their belief systems and consider it to be truth.
  2. Participants will be able to understand the different functions of the right and left hemispheres of the brain and how they respond to trauma.
  3. Participants will be able to identify several negative consequences of exposure to trauma and several healthy ways of coping effectively.

This webinar was recorded in its entirety at the time of the live event in order to capture the one on one interaction with the presenter.


  • Dr. David Christiansen | Licensed psychologist in Colorado and has provide therapy to many first responders

Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence webinar has been provided by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this webinar are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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