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Peer-Support Training

My passion is teaching peer support skills to critical Incident Management Teams.  The trainings I offer are humorous, dynamic and thought provoking. My trainings can involve the participants in  various ways (not only through role plays). My goal is to provide specific, concrete skills for team members to use immediately.

Whether your department is starting a new team, or reviving an older team that needs a fresh start, you will find a training that will fit.  Departments may choose a combination of classes appropriate for their team, or request that a training be tailored to specific issues. To schedule training, please call: 510-797-4911.

Training Available from Dr. Bisek

The Tower of Mental Health     1 hour

This is not the typical class about how to eat right, exercise and get enough rest. This training is not a lecture, power point or role-play. This is a thought provoking training unlike any other, which will allow participants to reprioritize life during the training and prepare for different choices in the future.

The “F” Word in Peer Support: Talking to Your Colleagues About Fear   90 minutes

Often times, the most painful things for first responders to contain are not a perimeter, fire line, or a distraught RP on the phone, but the intense feelings of helplessness or powerlessness. Human beings today have the same central nervous system as our ancestors thousands of years ago. The fight, flight, fright and freeze reactions are programmed in our bodies so that we can survive a threat.There are different strategies to talk about fear in a way that will empower others without using hot button words like fear.

The subject of Panic is different than fear and could be an hour training on it’s own. Peer Support Team members will learn a distancing technique and other specific skills to help a colleague think differently about these unpleasant events. Read Reviews

(Don’t) Leave me alone! Dealing with isolation in peer support     1 hour

The public safety profession is a dangerous one. If an employee is physically injured on the job, it is common to reach out, send a card, an email or a text until the first responder returns to work. With a stress injury, that seems to be more of a challenge. This course confronts the challenge head on and provides an opportunity for peers to design and rehearse tactics for situations involving a stress injury.

Strong Self Care      1 hour

This course will focus on preventing burn out and compassion fatigue. Each student will be allowed 20 minutes to create his or her own 30 day action plan for strong self care. The peer support team will be encouraged to set standards for self care, suggest ways to keep these individual skills current, and ways to keep the team healthy as a unit.

ICISF Group Debriefing Course      2 days

Dr.Bisek is an approved instructor for this two-day course.  Participants will receive a certificate from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.

Basic Peer Support Skills        2 hours

This interactive, multimedia peer support course is balanced with lecture and scenarios that provide the student a chance to practice peer support skills and receive feedback on their contributions. The focus here will be on skills such as open ended questions, paraphrasing, peer pitfalls (questions to avoid) and resources or referrals to use. Topics such as suicide, alcohol abuse, or grief can be addressed as time and interest allows. In general, the least experienced peers will be given the most opportunities to practice with more experienced peers giving feedback. Read Reviews

Substance Abuse     90 minutes

What are the roles and rules in an alcoholic family? What are codependency and denial, and how do they affect each family member? Why do some people think alcohol helps them sleep? What about alcohol and critical incidents? What resources are available when someone wants to stop drinking?
This humorous to-the-point presentation will leave people talking.

When a child dies     Various

For many people in emergency services the death of a child during a shift is almost a taboo topic. Yet it is this the of call which causes long lasting pain and grief for those who respond. This dynamic presentation can be requested in a one-hour, four-hour or full day format and is geared for a multiagency audience of first responders. Different hypothetical scenarios are presented with a police officer, paramedic, dispatcher and firefighter to teach the symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Participants are empowered to challenge the negative beliefs after a tough call for service when a colleague is in distress. Unhealthy coping skills are discussed as well as healthy strategies to use for future critical incidents. There are no photos or 911 tapes in this presentation and culturally appropriate humor is used to balance the intensity of this topic.
This presentation has been well received by peer support teams since 2008. Read Reviews

‘What’s up Doc?’     1 hour

What is the difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist? What do the limits of confidentiality really mean? Who are the EAP providers and how do I chose one? What else does the department’s Employee Assistance program offer?

This course covers the basics of referring colleagues to sources outside of local peer support and knowing when a colleague could use a mental health provider.

Research Support

How do you know peer support programs work? How do you measure the effect of a debriefing after a critical incident? How do you know the training you provide is adequate? Are your employees learning new things, using a peer support skill, changing their behavior, or are the team members just texting during the class? How do you know in what areas the peer support team members need additional training? Is the money spent on peer support programs worth it? If these questions are important to you, I can design, implement and present the results of a study to your office and peer support team. Research fees will vary depending on the project.


Phone: 510.797.4911
Fax: 510.790.4911
Email Anne:
Office: 3340 Walnut Ave, Suite 282,
Fremont, CA 94538 (No mail accepted here)
Mail: 3602 Thornton Ave #54, Fremont, CA 94536
© 2024 Anne Bisek, Psy.D.