Rachelle Zemlok, PsyD
I am a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of California. I have been a first responder family member since I was in high school! Back when my coolest moment was when my oldest brother picked me up from school in his police car... oh how far I've come. Since then, the amount of first responders in our family has multiplied. Now I am the sister to three law enforcement officers and married to a firefighter. Needless to say, holiday scheduling is a huge task over here. I never had the desire to be a first responder myself, however I have always felt immense gratitude for the sacrifices they make to serve our communities and I am on a mission to provide some real value and support to as many as possible.
I am a proud fire spouse, which you can read all about in my book! You can imagine how marrying a firefighter went over for all the law enforcement officers in my family. I enjoy how our gatherings are always filled with hilarious banter. I earned my doctorate degree in 2013 from Alliant International University in San Francisco. There I conducted original research (my dissertation) with interviews from officers, spouses of officers, and adult children of officers to better understand “The Impacts of Police Work on Law Enforcement Families.” I completed my postdoctoral training providing treatment to law enforcement personnel and their family members. I have had the opportunity to attend many ride alongs and live trainings for emergency responders which has been helpful in developing an understanding of the day to day challenges of the jobs themselves. In October 2018 I released a book "The Firefighter Family Academy: A Guide to Educate and Prepare Spouses for the Career Ahead" which I hope adds value to the lives of new firefighter spouses and family members. I shifted from a managed care setting to open my practice First Responder Family Psychology in 2019 to serve you, like I have always dreamed of!
Whether in the community or in my office, my priority is to first build a quality trusting relationship with you and add value to your life. Each individual and family is different which is why I hope to develop a good understanding of what brought you in and what you are looking for. Unlike many other therapists, I do this with my solid understanding of the first responder career and family lifestyle. I often use a very goal driven focus which I find first responder families tend to like. I can help you develop a better understand of the identified problem and help you gain tools to better manage or resolve it. In couples work, I use a method called Gottman Therapy which is heavily focused on identifying your strengths and weaknesses as a couple and giving you actual tools backed by research to be able to more easily resolve the issues. If you're looking for something that I do not offer, I'll let you know, and we can try and find a better fit for you.