911 for First Responders: Tools for Enhancing the Therapeutic Relationship


Firefighters, Policeman, Soldiers image collageThis training will provide behavioral health providers with a better understanding of the first responder population and practical tools to implement in their own practices.

Who should attend?

  • Therapists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • EAP Providers
  • Peer Support Staff
  • Chaplains
  • Interventionists



Taking Care of our Own
Presenter: Chief Dan DeGryse
Dan will describe the motivation behind creating the Rosecrance Florian Program based on his experience with the Chicago Fire Department as a Battalion Chief/EMT, Employee Assistance Provider and Peer Supporter. He will also discuss how the program is connecting with first responders.

This presentation will address the following:

  • What a clinician should know when working with first responders
  • The importance of being culturally aware
  • What makes the Florian program effective

First on the Scene: Enriching the Clinical Experience of First Responders
Presenter: Erica Gilmore
Erica will describe her experience as coordinator of the Florian Program. She will also identify the key cultural characteristics of first responders that impact treatment and the therapeutic relationship.

This presentation will address the following:

  • Have an understanding of how symptoms of mental health and substance abuse appear
  • Knowledge of evidenced-based programs and clinical theory effective in treatment
  • Recognize the ways first responders are different from other clients

Barriers to Treatment in the First Responder Community
Presenter: Mark Honzel
Mark will relay his personal journey from police officer, to mental health client, to mental health clinician. Mark will describe his own barriers and how he’s helping other clients overcome them.

This presentation will address the following:

  • Identifying barriers to treatment
  • Establishing therapeutic relationships with first responders
  • Normalizing the first responder experience




Chief Dan DeGryse, BA, BS, CEAP, CADC, LAP-C, CAI
Director of the Rosecrance Florian Program

Dan began his career as a firefighter with the Chicago Fire Department in 1989 and has served as an officer since 1995. Dan presently holds the rank of Battalion Chief/EMT. He also served as the Coordinator of the Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 Employee Assistance Program for 14 years. Dan is a member of the International Association of Firefighters Labor/ EAP committee, and is a Master IAFF Peer Support Training Instructor. Dan holds advanced training in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) and has extensive clinical experience providing individual, group, and family therapy with both adults and adolescents in the areas of addiction and mental health.


Erica Gilmore, LCPC, CADC
Unit Coordinator

Erica joined Rosecrance in 2015 as a primary counselor and was promoted to unit coordinator in 2017. She has worked in the field of substance abuse and mental health for nine years with experience working with co-occurring issues. Erica received a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Philosophy from Augustana College and a Master of Science in Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Western Illinois University.


Mark Honzel, MA
Primary Counselor

Mark studied Law Enforcement Administration and received a Bachelor of Science from Western Illinois University in 1992. Mark spent the next 21 years as an officer with the Rockford Police Department where he was a K9 handler, field training officer, housing authority officer, and patrol officer. He received a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2018 from Argosy University and completed his Master’s internship with the Florian Program before being hired full-time.

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.

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