3.5 Hours | 3.5 CEs (3.5 POST credits)

This on-demand professional training program on Cultural Diversity and Cultural Competence in Police & Public Safety Psychology is presented by Joel Fay, PsyD, ABPP & Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D., in partnership with The American Board of Police and Public Safety Psychology.

First Responders are not eager clients. It takes a lot for them to seek help and very little to turn them off. Therapists who make mistakes don’t get second chances. The number one error clinicians make treating first responders is failing to understand what they do, why they do it, and the culture in which they work. 

This program examines the differences and similarities between first responders and mental health professionals and what it takes, personally and professionally, to create strong therapeutic alliances. This program also covers personal challenges for the clinician, ways to acquire an insider’s look at the culture, and unique issues affecting women, minorities, and LBTQ responders.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program you will be able to:

  • Describe personal biases toward first responders and how these may help or hinder the therapeutic environment

  • Describe issues of transference and counter transference

  • Describe the basic elements of establishing a therapeutic alliance

  • Describe unique aspects of treating first responders such as guns in the office, dual relationships, and boundary issues

  • Describe the first responder culture

  • Describe three ways to gain entry to the first responder culture

Presented By

Joel Fay, PsyD

Joel Fay Psy.D served as a police officer for over 30 years and retired in 2011. Dr. Fay obtained his Doctorate in Psychology from Argosy University and is now in private practice working with emergency responders from numerous organizations. Dr. Fay teaches Crisis Intervention Training for numerous agencies throughout California, has co-authored a number of articles about emergency service stress and is a co-author of Counseling Cops, What Clinicians Need to Know. Dr. Fay is a co-founder of the First Responder Support Network and is the current Clinical Director. He has received numerous awards for his work including the California Psychological Association 2007 Humanitarian Award and the American Psychological Association 2012 award for Outstanding Contributions to the Practice of Police & Public Safety Psychology. Dr. Fay is Board Certified in Police and Public Safety Psychology.

Ellen Kirschman, PhD.

Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D. is a California-licensed psychologist. and volunteer clinician at the First Responders Support Network. She is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and The American Psychological Association. Her work has been recognized by the California Psychological Association’s 2014 award for distinguished contribution to psychology and the American Psychological Association’s 2010 award for outstanding contribution to the practice of police and public safety psychology. She travels worldwide giving workshops for first responders and their families as well as clinicians working with first responder clients. She is the author of I Love a Cop: What Police Families Need to Know, I Love a Fire Fighter: What the Family Needs to Know, lead author of Counseling Cops: What Clinicians Need to Know, and three mysteries, Burying Ben, The Right Wrong Thing, and The Fifth Reflection all told from the perspective of police psychologist Dot Meyerhoff.
  • Intended Audience

    This self-paced program is intended for mental health and other allied professionals.

  • Experience Level

    This self-paced program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

  • CE / CPD Credit

    APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC Click here for state and other regional board approvals.


  • 1


    • Review Before Proceeding

  • 2

    Lesson One

    • Lesson 1 Video

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 3

    Lesson Two

    • Lesson 2 Video

    • Resource Installation

    • Fighting Back Worksheet

    • Lesson Quiz

  • 4


    • Instructions

    • Evaluation

    • Submission Verification

Develop a Specialty Area of Practice

Transforming mental health professionals into experts

  • Expert Instructors

    Professional training developed and delivered by the field's leading experts

  • CE Credit

    Earn CE credit for meaningful professional training that will elevate your practice

  • Convenience & Flexibility

    Learn at your own pace, from wherever you might be!

The American Board of Police and Public Safety Psychology

We are proud to partner with The American Board of Police and Public Safety Psychology (ABPPSP) for this training. ABPPSP became a fully affiliated specialty board of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) on October 21, 2011. Police and Public Safety Psychology is concerned with assisting law enforcement and other public safety personnel and agencies in carrying out their missions and societal functions with optimal effectiveness, safety, health, and conformity to laws and ethics. It consists of the application of the science and profession of psychology in four primary domains of practice: assessment, clinical intervention, operational support, and organizational consultation.

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