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Therapists Uncut Podcast

Jan 11, 2021


Chaplain Dave Williams Demystifies  His Role With Law Enforcement and First Responders

Interview with Chaplain Dave Williams

Guest Bio

Being invited to serve alongside first responders in a pastoral role is not for every pastor, but it has been a part of David Williams’ ministry since 1987. Public safety chaplains are uniquely suited to serve the public in times of trauma and they are a unique level of support to first responders processing difficult calls, administrative stresses and public perceptions.


David has served as a senior chaplain in the Central Valley since 1997. He has been a trainer in Critical Incident Stress Management since 2005, a certified trainer with the International Conference of Police Chaplains to help others in providing peer support and chaplain services. He has been a Certified Crisis Chaplain with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress for many years.


After just a year as a chaplain, David found himself with the wife of a police officer, who had been shot in the line of duty. Sadly, the police officer died that evening. A year later, he was sitting alone with an officer who was just involved in an officer involved shooting; with pastoral training and intuition, David supported that officer through the months following. He later learned additional tools of support. So David’s work with people suffering from critical incident stress, a mental health crisis, chemical dependency, relationship struggles and administrative difficulties is a combination of hands on and

academic study. His desire is to help as many public responders to retire healthily as possible.               


In this episode we talk about:

Chaplain Dave Williams has listeners on the edge of their seats with this engaging, informative, and educational interview. Chaplain Dave describes how he fell into his pastoral role with first responders and law enforcement in 1987 and to this day, continues to support and promote emotional health among first responders, law enforcement, and their families.

He lets us in on how his role varies from day to day and can look anything like being called to the scene of a suicide, homicide, or a child death to support the families and witnesses affected by the incident, to providing training, to supporting the officers and first responders several days or weeks post a traumatic incident. 

Chaplain Dave also shares how trauma reactions and responses can show up in the day to day lives of law enforcement officers and first responders in the form of dependency issues, relationship issues, impaired sleep, hyper vigilance, hyper startle response and more. Which is why it is imperative law enforcement, and first responders  learn how to manage stress in healthy ways to help them manage the emotional impact of the job and required shift work.

Listen to the full episode to learn more on:

  • The role of Chaplain in law enforcement and first responder organizations
  • What role faith can play in mental health
  • Common reasons law enforcement or first responder may resist professional therapy
  • First responder stress management
  • The impact of trauma on law enforcement, first responders, and their families
  • And advice for our listeners


Resources mentioned:

We’ve pulled together any resources mentioned in this episode and put together some links:

International Critical Incident Stress Foundation

International Conference of Police Chaplains

Thank you for allowing us into your lives and helping us make mental health more relatable and a part of your everyday conversation! For more information or to access all episodes visit


Who we are:

Nikki Young is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Nikki keeps it personable. Nikki keeps it personable and professional. Yet, she always manages to keep the Therapists Uncut family and followers laughing. You may find her squirreling through topics, stories, or jokes, and all in good fun. Don't worry because someone (usually Jolene) will bring her back around to the conversation. Nikki is a licensed marriage and family therapist in her private practice located in Modesto, CA, and she is also a Crisis Junkie at heart. In addition to being co-owner of a group private practice, she is also a crisis clinician responding to local mental health crisis and emergencies. Learn more about Nikki at

Alyssa Najera is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Alyssa is typically calm and composed on most days, but often has difficulty containing her excitement about the little things in life. She can sometimes drift into daydreaming about the endless possibilities in life and usually the last one of the group to understand Nikki and Jolene's punchlines.  She loves to laugh, spread positivity, and is often caught with a smile on her face. Alyssa is also a Child Welfare Services (CWS) social worker and supervisor alumni, previous child sexual abuse forensic interviewer, and owner and CEO of a group private practice in the small town of Oakdale, CA. Learn more about Alyssa at or

Jolene Daly is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Jolene is a seasoned therapist and private practice owner. She grew up in the Turlock, CA and Modesto, CA area most of her adult life and has been married to her comedian of a husband Jason for 20 years.  She is a genuine, authentic person with a bold personality. You'll often catch Jolene challenging our listeners and her fellow co-hosts, as she is passionate about her personal and professional values and is vocal when it comes to speaking out for what’s right. Learn more about Jolene at


Thank you for joining Therapists Uncut, a production of AMP Smart Business. To learn more about Therapists Uncut and stay up on upcoming episodes, please subscribe and follow us on social media. As a reminder, although the Therapists Uncut co-hosts are licensed therapists, they are not your therapist. This podcast is not intended to substitute professional mental health counseling. If you need professional therapy, please contact your local provider or primary care provider.  Thanks for listening and we’ll see you on the next episode of Therapists Uncut!

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Therapists Uncut is a production of AMP Smart Business.

Voice Over by Alexia Gloria