Christina M. Schultz, MA
Resident in Counseling
Supervised by Megan A. Ellis, LPC
Thriving Families Counseling, LLC

Counseling Support for Current and Retired First Responders
Law Enforcement, Firefighters, & Military Personnel 

As a former federal civil servant at three federal agencies for 10 years, I have interfaced with a variety of federal and local personnel through travel, work, and training.  I consider that I have invaluable personal and professional exposure to the law enforcement, military, intelligence, and civilian culture.  As a counselor, I have unique insights into the common issues that men and women may be dealing with.  In April 2018, I completed the Traumas of Law Enforcement Certificate Training Program conducted by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) in Baltimore, MD.

The broad mental health issues (excluding Traumatic Brain Injury issues) experienced among current and former military, law enforcement, intelligence, and contractor personnel include (in no particular order):

  • Suicidal Ideation 
  • Depression
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Other Anxiety Disorders (Panic Disorder, Phobia, Acute Stress Disorder)
  • Substance Addiction 
  • Process Addiction (sex, porn, gambling, Internet, and/or video games) 
  • Adjustment Disorders, Grief, and/or Stress due to:
    • Loss of Mobility/Disfigurement,
    • Retirement/Loss of Job,
    • Combat,
    • Survivor Guilt
    • Accidental Injuries or Death,
    • Training,
    • Work Culture,
    • Management Issues,
    • Lack of Support at Department, Agency, and Local, County, State, and Federal Levels,
    • Under investigation by Internal Affairs, Office of Inspector General, or any organization,
    • Under public scrutiny and lack of public support,
    • Divorce/Separation and Custody Issues,
    • Conflict with Peers,
    • Spousal/Partner Conflict (including Infidelity),
    • Parenting Issues,
    • Pre-Deployment, PCS, or TDY Stress,
    • Post-Deployment, PCS, or TDY Stress, and 
    • Homesickness/Loneliness.
  • Complicated Bereavement and Survivor’s Guilt
  • Spiritual and Religious Issues
  • Personality Disorders 
  • Anger Management


To the first responder, civilian, and military servicemen and women struggling with work-related or relationship-related depression, anxiety, grief, and stress...

please know that you are not alone in your distress.  You have confidential support options in private-sector individual and couples counseling.  

Please also remember that depression, anxiety, conflicts, and stress and seeking help are not reflections that you are bad or weak. 

Admitting that you need help does not make you broken.  It means you are strong and courageous.

How May I Support You?

I have training, experience, and developing professional expertise in diagnosing and treating depression, anxiety, and work-related and relationship-related issues for current and retired servicemen and women.  I believe deeply in each person's innate reslience and ability to grow through adversity.  I believe in counseling's ability to promote that process and improved wellness for clients with high-stress occupations.

I approach current and retired servicemember and first responder counseling from a meaning-centered, strengths-based, and solutions-focused therapy model.  I integrate psychoeducation, existential meaning-centered therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy approaches.   I also offer marriage and couples counseling for couples impacted by various job-related stressors and issues.  

Here is a partial list of the benefits of what my individual counseling may offer you, depending on your unique needs:

  • Nonjudgmental listening.
  • Empathy and Support for your profession and the stressors it may bring to you and your family.
  • Professional support. 
  • Clinical assessment and diagnosis of mood, anxiety, adjustment disorders, and/or addictions, and any other mental health and relationship issues.
  • Reduction of symptoms and conflicts.
  • Psychoeducation on your particular diagnosis (if you have one) and particular life transition issues.
  • Improved self-acceptance. 
  • Development of self-care and wellness plan.
  • Referrals for psychiatric medication evaluations, EMDR, and other professionals when necessary, and collaboration with your health team.
  • Address and work on any perfectionistic, rigid schemas, negative self-talk and negative cognitive distortions that may further impact self-concept, work, and relationships.
  • Address and process unresolved grief and ongoing grief. 
  • Address and process unresolved and recent trauma.
  • Address and reduce unresolved and ongoing shame.
  • Improve self-concept, identifying and expressing needs, and assertiveness skills.

When we are no longer able to
change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

-Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning