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Childhood Sexual Trauma of First Responders & Others

Academy Hour is proud to host Stephanie Samuels, CEO and Founder of COPLINE as the instructor and subject matter expert for this amazing training opportunity.

NBCC CE - 4 hours
Academy Hour, LLC has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7092. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Academy Hour, LLC is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Presentation Description

Numerous studies have found that survivors of abuse suffer as adults from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcohol and drug abuse, and other mental illnesses. Abuse may include traumatic childhood experiences, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and/or sexual abuse. The effects of such events during childhood can cause later adult psychopathology, affect personality, and inhibit interpersonal skills that influence occupational choice. This presentation will address the unspoken traumas that police officers may have experienced as children and how it influences their work and psychological well-being. Therapy that allows officers to come to terms with their abuse and acceptance of their prior trauma history plays out significantly in their recovery.

Learning Objectives

 Understanding the cycle of abuse and tolerating the discomfort of change. Self-reflection of the role officers are playing emotionally to continue to facilitate feelings of helplessness and abandonment.

 Understanding the role that risk behavior plays in an officer’s life and the need for adrenaline rush.  The pushback to not being in crisis and not constantly being “on the go” and the “point person”.

 Understanding the implications of mandatory reporting of abusers and the short and long-term effects of making such a report. Dealing with the fallout of relationships after the disclosure and processing of memories and emotions.


I reviewed a collection of more than 250 cases and saw this as common trend among officerS who have PTSD, Depression and Panic attacks.  Over 25% had a history of abuse. Of that number almost all had been in critical incidents and or were experiencing relationship issues.

Non-traditional settings were used to counsel officers fostering a more relaxed and normal environment thus reducing the fear of being in a counselor’s office. 


The role of prior abuse and trauma plays in an officer’s life and how that is manifested in both work and personal life. Suggestions for therapy.

Speaker/Co-Speaker Information

Stephanie Samuels, M.A., MSW, LCSW
The Counseling and Critical Incident Debriefing Center, LLC
General Partner
Copline, Inc
Founder and President



Stephanie Samuels is a psychotherapist who works exclusively with police officers in New Jersey and Oklahoma. Ms. Samuels has lectured all over the country on PTSD and vicarious trauma, including undiagnosed PTSD and the fallout from departmental silence after officers are involved in critical incidents.
Ms. Samuels began her career as one of the teens in the first focus group of Teen Line Cares, a mental health help line for teens. Ms. Samuels recognized that teens only trusted and confided in other teens. With this same concept in mind, Ms. Samuels went on to create two law enforcement officer hotlines. She is currently the Founder and President of COPLINE, Inc., the first Confidential National Law Enforcement Officers' Hotline in the country manned by retired officers. 
She is the general partner of The Counseling and Critical Incident Debriefing Center, LLC, which specializes in debriefing and long term counseling of first responders and their families. She taught at the Monmouth County Police Academy for 16 years and has been a guest lecturer at The FBI Academy in Quantico.  Ms. Samuels was hired after the Boston Bombing as the Clinical Director of the Boston Police Department Peer Support Unit and co-founded the LEADER (Law Enforcement Active Duty Emergency Responder) Program at Harvard's McLean Hospital and continues to work with the Boston Police Department in a different capacity. 
Ms. Samuels has co-authored Under the Blue Shadow: Clinical and Behavioral Perspectives on Police Suicide with Dr. John Violanti and a chapter entitled "Police Trauma: Past Exposures and Present Consequences" in the book Managing Traumatic Stress Risk: A Proactive Approach. She received the President's Award in Social Work in 1999 for the legislation that she wrote to create a statewide hotline and critical incident debriefings for law enforcement officers. She received the "Honored Citizen Award" from the New Jersey Honor Legion for her contributions to the law enforcement community. She has authored five legislative bills in New Jersey and has helped get two of them passed. Ms. Samuels is the author of the "Dear Steph" column for the New Jersey State Fraternal Order of Police Newspaper. Ms. Samuels got her Bachelors degree from UCLA, a Masters degree in Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and a Masters degree in Social Work from Rutgers University, New Brunswick