ODW Working With First Responders and Veterans: Trauma Treatment for the 21st Century with J. Eric Gentry

ODW Working With First Responders and Veterans: Trauma Treatment for the 21st Century with J. Eric Gentry



This webinar led by J. Eric Gentry, PhD was originally broadcast live on Monday, June 26, and Tuesday, June 27, 2023.

This is a 12-hour On-Demand Webinar. Access information, handouts/resources, and CE credits information will be available immediately after successful registration. All registrants receive unlimited access to the recording for 365 days.


Welcome to the 21st century of trauma treatment, tailored for first responders and veterans! In this 2-day immersive workshop, we will equip you with the necessary tools to become effective in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

We understand that effective trauma treatment is simple, but not easy. Therefore, this course will provide you with simple concepts and practices that can be immediately applied in your clinical practice. You will learn how the autonomic nervous system (ANS) generates and maintains the symptoms of posttraumatic stress (PTS) and PTSD. More importantly, you will learn simple skills for regulating the ANS to help clients who are first responders or veterans interrupt their instinctual threat response and discover a posttraumatic life of comfort, well-being, and intentionality.

This course integrates cutting-edge cognitive, behavioural, somatic, and relational treatment approaches into a generic application of the staged Empowerment and Resilience Treatment Structure (Rhoton & Gentry, 2021). This protocol incorporates the four “active ingredients” of all effective treatments to provide a simple treatment approach that can be utilized with all clients.

The self-regulation skills learned in this training will not only serve as an intervention for clients who are first responders and veterans, but also as essential skills for the clinician. These skills will help you develop the capacity for co-regulating your clients while maintaining resiliency to the high demand of trauma work. This will allow you to remain healthy while working with even the most challenging cases.

During this workshop, you will rediscover the value of in vivo exposure as a safe and effective way to help clients who are first responders and veterans immediately begin resolving their symptoms and enhance their quality of life. This workshop is a one-stop-shop for bringing your treatment of trauma and traumatic stress into the 21st century. Join us and learn how to make a positive difference in the lives of those you serve!

Learning Objectives

  1. Articulate the cause of posttraumatic stress and how events turn into posttraumatic symptoms.
  2. Discover the “active ingredients/common elements” for treating posttraumatic stress advocated as best practice for treatment of PTSD by leading agencies and organizations (e.g., APA, VA/DoD, ISTSS, Phoenix Project).
  3. Employ a staged “active ingredients/common elements” approach to evidence-based practice for treating survivors of trauma. This is contrasted with current practice of utilizing only EBT model-driven approaches.
  4. Conceptualize, articulate, and utilize specific evidence-based treatment tasks within each of the (dynamic elements/active ingredients) of treatment that resolve symptoms of posttraumatic stress.
  5. Learn and employ the Empowerment & Resilience Treatment Structure (Rhoton & Gentry, 2021) for delivery of treatment with trauma survivors.
  6. Efficiently and effectively facilitate resolution and healing of posttraumatic conditions.
  7. Learn specific psychoeducation and cognitive restructuring techniques for maximizing engagement and participation in early treatment.
  8. Explain the symptoms of traumatic stress to clients in a way that helps make “good sense” of their experiences, facilitates self-compassion, and helps them to understand their symptoms as adaptations to past painful learning experience rather than pathological afflictions.
  9. Develop insight into the importance of developing/maintaining positive expectancy and skills to achieve this therapeutic task.
  10. Maximize engagement and collaboration in the healing process utilizing evidence-based skills of data collection and feedback processing with clients,
  11. Succinctly articulate the role that perceived threat and subsequent autonomic nervous system dysregulation plays in the etiology and perseverance of symptoms with trauma survivors.
  12. Acquire insight into the Polyvagal Theory and how this explanation of autonomic nervous system (ANS) functioning assists clients in understanding their symptoms and assists clinicians in conceptualizing tasks of treatment with trauma survivors.
  13. Develop, practice, and master skills of interoception and acute relaxation to monitor and self-regulate the clinician’s own ANS as primary intervention to facilitate rapid return to comfort in the body (i.e., stress amelioration), and maximize neocortical functioning and the ability to remain intentional instead of instinctually reactive. (Note: This is a primary skill for professional resilience and the prevention of compassion fatigue. This course teaches the participant to develop mastery of this skill BEFORE beginning to teach this skill to clients.)
  14. Teach clients skills for self-regulation of their own ANS and then teach them how to employ these skills to catalyze reciprocal inhibition and Direct Therapeutic Exposure, thereby lessening their anxiety symptoms immediately.
  15. Develop CBST skills for helping trauma survivors to rapidly develop stability, self-efficacy, anxiety management, and relational capacities.
    Learn the 20 symptoms of PTSD and utilize the Posttraumatic Checklist – 5 (PCL-5) to make an accurate diagnosis.
  16. Learn empirical markers to know when it is both necessary (i.e., Criterion B symptoms still present) and safe to transition from the safety/stabilization phase of treatment into the trauma memory processing phase without guesswork and minimal crises.


Day I

0:00 – 0:15  Welcome

0:15 – 1:00  What causes and what is Traumatic Stress?

  • Not traumatic events
  • PTSD as TBI
  • PTSD is a corruption of memory

1:00 – 1:45. What resolves Traumatic Stress

  • Integration
  • Densensitization
  • Joseph Wolpe and Reciprocal Inhibition
  • In vivo exposure (IVE) vs. imaginal exposure (IMG)

1:45 – 2:00 BREAK

2:00 – 2:20 Active Ingredients Approach (Video)

2:20 – 2:400  Science-based Practice/Evidence-Based Treatment

2:40 – 3:000 The Active Ingredients

  1. Therapeutic Relationship
  2. Relaxation/Self-regulation
  3. Exposure/Narrative
  4. Cognitive Restructuring/Psychoeducation

3:00 – 3:10. The Salutogenic Treatment Structure for Treating Traumatic Stress

  • Stage I: Preparation & Relationship
  • Stage II: Self-regulation & Skills-building
  • Integration & Desensitization
  • Posttraumatic Growth & Resilience

3:10 – 4:00  Stage 1: Preparation & Relationship

  • Informed Consent
  • Positive Expectancy
  • Therapeutic Excellence using FIT
  • Assessment [Day 2]


4:00 – 5:00  LUNCH


5:00 – 6:15 Stage 2: Psychoeducation & Skills-building

  • Tools for Hope: What’s Behind Trauma and Its Symptoms
    • Perceived Threat
    • Autonomic Nervous System
    • True Cause of Stress

     6:15 – 6:30. BREAK

6:30 – 7:20  Stage 2: Psychoeducation & Skills-building (cont)

  • Self-Regulation
    • What is Self-Regulation
    • Skills: Self-regulation

   7:20 – 7:45.  Exercise: Self-regulation

7:45 – 7:50. HOMEWORK

7:50.  END

Day II

0:00 – 0:45. Opening Discussion – sharing experiences of self-regulation

0:45 – 1:00. Resources

1:00 – 1:20. Trauma Assessment – ACES

1:20 – 1:55 Trauma Assessment:  Diagnosing PTSD

  • PCL-5

1:55 – 2:10. BREAK

2:10 – 2:40  Polyvagal Theory

2:40 – 2:55. Trauma Assessment (cont)

  • Trauma Recovery Scale (Part II and I)

2:55 – 3:30  Stage 2: Psychoeducation & Skills-building (cont)

  • Graphic Life Line/Narrative

3:30 – 4:00 Tri-Phasic Model

  • Safety & Stabilization
  • Six Empirical Criteria for Safety & Stabilization
  • Getting out of the war zone – Case Management
  • Am safe vs, feels safe
  • Skills Development

     4:00 – 5:00. LUNCH

5:00 – 6:15      Skills Development (cont)

  • Relaxation
    • Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Sleep
  • Grounding
    • 3-2-1 Sensory Grounding
  • Anxiety Management
    • Thought Field Therapy Self-Help Anxiety Algorithm
  • Containment (End of Session)/Envelope Technique
6:15 – 6:30 BREAK

6:30 – 6:45 Stage 3:  Mid-Tx Assessment

6:45 – 7:00 Professional Development

  • Eric’s suggestions for Practitioner; Competence, Expertise and Mastery

7:00 – 7:30 Review of Trauma Treatments

  • Prolonged Exposure
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy
  • Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing

7:30 – 7:50 Stage 4: Posttraumatic Growth & Resilience

  • Forward-Facing Trauma Therapy
  • PTG
    • Five Aspects
    • Evolving Core Beliefs
    • PTG

     7:50. Course Closure

CE Information

This training offers 12 hours of direct contact (not counting breaks or lunch). It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards/regulatory body to verify CE requirements for their license to practice.

For Attendees of the On-Demand Recorded Version

You will need to complete a Post-Webinar Quiz with a pass of at least 80% in order to verify your attendance.

For US Participants

Instructions on how to obtain your Certificate of Attendance will be distributed after you pass the Post-Webinar Quiz following the On-Demand recorded version of the webinar.

Get details about CE credits for US participants

For Canadian and Non-US International Participants

Upon fulfillment of the above requirements, Canadian and non-US international participants will be issued a Certificate of Participation that includes:

  • Name of participant
  • Title of training
  • Name of presenter plus their credentials
  • Number of hours of training
  • Date of training
  • Confirmation that you have passed a quiz with at least an 80% grade to verify your attendance

Please check carefully with your regulatory body/organization that this certificate is sufficient proof for you to claim CE credits.

Get details about CE credits for Canadian and non-US international participants

Who Should Attend?

  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Clinical and Counselling Psychologists
  • Psychiatric Social Workers
  • Pastoral Counsellors
  • Psychotherapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Physicians
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Counsellors
  • Graduate Students in accredited programs in the above fields
  • Case Managers
  • Licensed Professional Counsellors
  • All other professionals who would like to develop, update or expand their skills and knowledge in mental health practices