Understanding PTSD & Best Practices for Treatment

Understanding PTSD & Best Practices for Treatment

Estimated watch time: 2 hrs 2 minutes

Presentation Materials:

Molly Jones, LSW

Clinical Education Coordinator for Advanced Recovery Systems

Molly Jones, LSW is a Clinical Education Coordinator for Advanced Recovery Systems. In this role, Molly is responsible for providing clinical education and training to various client populations, treatment providers, and other behavioral health stakeholders across the country. Molly provides in-person, virtual, and on-demand behavioral health education and is able to cover a wide variety of topics under the behavioral healthcare umbrella.

Molly is a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Colorado and based out of Denver, Colorado. Prior to joining the ARS Community Outreach Team in August 2019, Molly worked in a variety of social work settings. She has worked in direct practice, counseling older adults, adolescents, high acuity clients, and other populations struggling with various mental health and substance abuse related issues, as well as a Permanency Planning Worker for the Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Division in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Molly has worked in the field of Social Work since 2013, and holds the philosophy that all individuals, with proper support and awareness, possess the ability to learn, change, and grow to achieve the highest quality of life and sense of self possible.

Molly earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Family Life Education with a focus on Gerontology from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. In her time with Advanced Recovery Systems, Molly has primarily worked with first responders and their families, as well as the International Association of Fire Fighters and various municipalities across North America. Molly is the Peer Team Clinician for the IAFF’s 9th District Peer Support Team, has been featured in news publications and mental health podcasts, and provided clinical oversight to local non-profits in Colorado.

Objectives and Summary:

This training is a psychoeducation focused overview of post-traumatic stress, acute stress disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Attendees will learn the key components of each issue and diagnosis, including warning signs to look for in themselves or a colleague and specialized treatment options for first responders.

Presentation Materials:

Fire fighters deal with potentially traumatic events almost every day on the job, and some may experience painful memories in the aftermath. The effects of a traumatic event can fade over time, but for some, those memories and feelings persist.

Mental health experts are not entirely sure why some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and others do not. If stress reactions do not improve over time and begin to disrupt everyday life, it is important to seek help to determine if a mental health disorder is present.

The concept of PTSD has been recognized for centuries but has been called many different names. Previously, terms including “shell shock” and “battle fatigue” have been used to explain PTSD. About 1 in 11 individuals will have PTSD in their lifetime, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Some signs and symptoms of PTSD can include:

Intrusive memories


Negative changes in thinking and mood

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

Understanding PTSD

Fire fighting is a tough job — both mentally and physically.There is no shame in seeking treatment for PTSD or other behavioral health issues. You are not alone. Call the IAFF Center of Excellence to learn more about treatment options and support. Telephones are staffed around the clock with professionals who understand these issues and can help you get into a program that works best for you.