How Heroes Heal:


Stories of First Responders and the Journey from Posttraumatic Stress Injury to Posttraumatic Growth



Marilyn J. Wooley, PhD



How Heroes Heal: Stories of First Responders and the Journey from Posttraumatic Stress Injury to Posttraumatic Growth, book cover and description.

First responders are the action heroes of our time. And if you’re a first responder (or know someone who is), you know this to be true: instead of running from imminent danger, firefighters run into burning buildings . . . police officers chase active shooters . . . and EMT’s rush to provide life-saving medical support, no matter how gruesome the crime scene.

But what happens when a first responder is traumatized by these extraordinary events? How do they cope from feelings of overwhelm? How do they heal when their worldview spins out of control? Unfortunately, too many first responders silently struggle with trauma induced “Am I normal for having these feelings?” and “Will I ever get better?” Fortunately, the answer to these questions is a resounding yes: yes, these feelings are normal – and yes, returning to normal is very possible.

In this book, you will learn what happens in the body and mind during a critical incident that makes it both normal and natural to experience difficult thoughts and feelings. Between the scientifically based explanations and moving, inspirational, and sometimes humorous stories, discover how to:

  • Reestablish self-confidence
  • Control emotional responses to triggers
  • Rediscover passion for work
  • Develop a positive sense of purpose in daily life
  • Assemble a positive support network
  • Overcome addictions, isolation, anger, depression, and anxiety

First responders are not alone. How Heroes Heal offers a pathway toward recovery andgrowth . . . helping them get to the other side of trauma, learning how to function better than before, so that they not only survive, but thrive!

How Heroes Heal is a first-place winner in the non-fiction category awarded by The Public Safety Writers Association.




How Heroes Heal is available to buy from your favorite bookseller and online internationally from Amazon.






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About The Author


Marilyn J. Wooley PhD

Marilyn J. Wooley PhD is a psychologist and traumatologist who specializes in working with first responders and treating posttraumatic stress injuries. With over forty years of experience in the field of psychology, Dr. Wooley also teaches Critical Incident Stress Management and is often called upon by municipalities for forensic and pre-employment psychological evaluation services for perspective employees. She is an expert witness in several areas related to trauma. Dr. Wooley completed her PhD in 1977 from the University of Arizona and performed her postdoctoral training at the Long Beach Veterans Medical Center treating veterans injured and traumatized during the Vietnam War. Dr. Wooley worked with the American Red Cross to help victims of 9/11 and served as a clinician for the West Coast Posttrauma Retreat since 2001.

You can learn about the transformative work of Dr. Wooley by visiting her website marilynjwooleyphd.com and you can connect with her online via LinkedIn.





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