Resilience Immersion Training

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Resilience Immersion Training

Mindfulness for First Responders

Saturday, January 21, 2017 - 5:30pm to Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 1:00pm
Richard Goerling, Steven Hickman, Psy.D. and Sarah Bowen, Ph.D.


EarthRise Transformative Learning Center
101 San Antonio Road
Petaluma, California 94952
United States

Those who work in the service of society through law enforcement, emergency medical response, emergency telecommunications and other specialized public safety vocations share a deep commitment to the public welfare and humanity. The demands and pressures on these dedicated men and women are tremendous, the stakes inordinately high, and the human toll incalculable. The operational and administrative demands of these professions often lead responders with the noblest of intentions to stray from those deeply-held and valued intentions, to find themselves feeling lost, unappreciated, burned out, overwhelmed and vilified by the communities they serve.

The empirical evidence for the benefits of mindfulness and compassion training illuminates an opportunity for us to introduce skills-based training to first responders and their organizations. Mindfulness and compassion training offers to enhance resiliency & human performance in these dimensions: situational awareness, physical & emotional health, cognitive performance (sense making and decision making), leadership and balancing operational demands with life beyond the watch. Grounded at the intersection of science and contemplative wisdom, this retreat is designed to resource responders with skills in resiliency that have influence before trauma is experienced, during a critical incident, and in the wake of such experiences.

The intention of this retreat-style immersion training is to introduce first responders to the power and potential of mindfulness practice for transforming their work through reconnecting them to their deepest intentions that drew them to the field in the first place. A consistent theme of this training will be warrior ethos in public safety, with a focus on the role of awareness, compassion and wisdom. Working from the “inside out”, participants will learn how contemplative practices and mindful activities can train the mind to be calmer, more focused, more resilient and less prone to bias. While scientific rationale will be offered to form the basis for considering this mindful approach, the priority will be placed primarily on personal practice, experiential exercises, dialogue and reflection.

About the Presenter(s): 

Richard Goerling has served in civilian law enforcement for over twenty years. He also served as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard, both active and reserve for 27 years, retiring at the rank of Commander in 2015. He’s had a front row seat to operational stress in both arenas and has spent the last decade as a student, and now trainer, of resiliency. Over the last decade, he has spearheaded the introduction of mindfulness training into policing in the United States and internationally as part of a larger cultural transformation toward a compassionate, skillful and resilient warrior ethos. He serves as an affiliate faculty at Pacific University’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology and participates in mindfulness research at this institution. Richard regularly trains and presents on resiliency for first responders, bringing practical mindfulness skill building to enhance personal, organizational and community resiliency.

Steven Hickman, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist and Associate Clinical Professor in the UC San Diego Departments of Psychiatry and Family Medicine & Public Health. He is the founder and Executive Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness and the Director of Professional Training for the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. Dr. Hickman teaches mindfulness and mindfulness-based programs in San Diego and around the world and trains teachers of these programs as well. Steve has a particular interest in extending the benefits of these practices to “non-traditional” populations and is involved in projects to develop these capacities in Olympic-class athletes, active-duty military, corporate leaders and now, first-responders.

Sarah Bowen, PhD. is an assistant professor of psychology at Pacific University, and a licensed clinical psychologist. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Bowen’s research, clinical and training activities have focused on development, efficacy, and cultural adaptations of mindfulness-based programs. She has conducted clinical trials and trained individuals from diverse populations and settings, both in the U.S. and internationally, including work in prisons, medical and treatment centers, and academic institutions. She is committed to increasing the understanding of and access to mindfulness practice, especially for individuals with logistical, financial or social barriers to these approaches.


Event Cost: 

Registration Fee $995
Room & Board (double occupancy) $875
Room & Board (single occupancy) $1125