G-TEP: Boosting Mental Health for Emergency Responders and At-Risk Professions Through Group Trauma Therapy

Online Mental Health Support and Therapy for Emergency Responders and At-risk professionals.

by Jaime G. Miralles

(Online Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner and Psychotherapist)

group therapy for emergency services

In demanding professions like emergency services and first responders, mental well-being is crucial. To address the unique challenges faced by these professionals, a powerful approach called Group Traumatic Episode Protocol (G-TEP) has emerged. In this article, we’ll explore how G-TEP helps individuals in high-stress jobs, the positive research outcomes, the benefits it offers, and whether it can be done in-person or remotely. We’ll also take a closer look at the process of implementing G-TEP to provide effective support and build resilience..

Understanding G-TEP:

Group Traumatic Episode Protocol (G-TEP) is a special type of therapy designed to help individuals and groups cope with the immediate psychological impact of traumatic events. It’s tailored specifically for emergency services personnel, first responders, and people in at-risk professions. G-TEP aims to provide timely support, build resilience, and prevent long-term emotional distress

Research Outcomes and Benefits - GTEP - EMDR

Studies have shown promising results for G-TEP, whether implemented in-person or remotely. It has been found to significantly reduce acute stress symptoms and lower the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in professionals who have experienced traumatic events (Bryant et al., 2018; Chemtob et al., 2011).

When it comes to remote implementation, research on remote delivery of psychological interventions for trauma-related symptoms, such as virtual reality exposure therapy and online interventions, has demonstrated positive outcomes (Bryant et al., 2020; Reger et al., 2016). These studies highlight the feasibility and effectiveness of remote interventions in providing support and treatment for individuals with trauma-related conditions.

The benefits of G-TEP, whether conducted in-person or remotely, include:

  1. Timely Support: G-TEP provides immediate support after traumatic incidents, offering help during the critical period following an event. This timely intervention reduces distress and promotes resilience.
  2. Group Support: G-TEP involves group-based therapy, where professionals can come together in a supportive environment. Sharing experiences with others in similar situations creates a sense of shared experience, validates individual experiences, and helps everyone understand the challenges faced.
  3. Emotional Processing: G-TEP provides a structured framework for professionals to process their emotions and thoughts related to the traumatic event. Through guided discussions and evidence-based techniques, individuals can explore their feelings in a safe and supportive space.
  4. Enhanced Resilience: By addressing the psychological impact of traumatic incidents early on, G-TEP helps individuals build resilience in at-risk professions. It equips them with coping strategies, stress management techniques, and skills to effectively handle future challenges.

G-TEP - EMDR: Face-to-Face or Remote Implementation:

G-TEP can be conducted both in-person and remotely, depending on the circumstances and available resources. In-person sessions involve professionals gathering in a designated space facilitated by trained mental health experts. This format allows for personal interactions, body language cues, and immediate support.

Remote implementation of G-TEP has become more feasible with advancements in technology. Video conferencing platforms enable professionals to participate in group sessions from different locations, ensuring access to support even in remote or geographically dispersed areas. Remote G-TEP offers convenience, flexibility, and broader accessibility to individuals who may face logistical challenges attending in-person sessions.

How does G-TEP look like?

  1. Initial 1-1 Psychological Assessment: Before engaging in G-TEP, professionals undergo an initial individual assessment with a trained mental health professional. This assessment helps identify specific needs, evaluate readiness for group therapy, and establish a therapeutic relationship.
  2. G-TEP Intervention: Following a traumatic incident, professionals come together for a group-based intervention facilitated by trained mental health professionals. This intervention involves structured discussions, education about emotional well-being, techniques to manage emotions, and coping strategies.
  3. Debriefing: After the G-TEP intervention, a debriefing session takes place to consolidate experiences, address any remaining concerns, and provide additional support if needed.
  4. Follow-up Support: Post-G-TEP, ongoing support is essential. Professionals may receive individual follow-up sessions, referrals to specialized services if required, and access to resources for long-term mental health management.


G-TEP offers a vital avenue for mental health support and resilience enhancement for professionals in emergency services, first responders, and at-risk professions. With its group-based approach, timely interventions, and focus on emotional processing, G-TEP has demonstrated positive outcomes in research studies, whether conducted face-to-face or remotely. It provides a valuable framework for individuals to navigate the psychological impact of traumatic incidents, promote well-being, and build resilience in challenging professions.


  1. Bryant, R. A., et al. (2018). A randomized controlled trial of exposure therapy and cognitive restructuring for posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 86(6), 498-512.
  2. Chemtob, C. M., et al. (2011). A controlled study of brief group therapy for survivors of a recent mass homicide. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 24(6), 680-686.
  3. Bryant, R. A., et al. (2020). The impact of remote delivery of psychological interventions for post-traumatic stress disorder: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 33(6), 589-600.
  4. Reger, G. M., et al. (2016). Virtual reality exposure therapy for active duty soldiers. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 29(1), 93-101.

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