Certified First Responder Counselor

As a Certified First Responder Counselor, you will be specialty-trained in the culture and unique needs of First Responders and Law Enforcement Officers. This 40-hour online training program prepares you for the CFRC exam and is your path to helping those who help others.

An Investment
In Your Career

Making the investment in your career means you're doing great things so that you can be great.

An Investment
In Our Protectors

These helpers need you to be GREAT, so they can be better. This is the way to get you both there.

A Return
Beyond Measure

Reap the immeasurable reward of helping those who helps others, and your impact lives on and on.

"Not only was the program engaging and motivating, the customer care provided was excellent."

Tanya M. LMHC, CDP

"This course is an absolute must for clinicians that have no, or very little experience working with these cultures who desire to work with First Responders."

Brent R. MA, LPCC

"This is a very thorough course that helps counselors really learn what it takes to be a first responder counselor."

Rae Brockman, LPC-S, LCDC, CRFC

"This was an excellent course and it is affording me an opportunity to give back to first responders."

Griena Knight Davis, EdD, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH

"It gave a better and more in depth view, understanding and knowledge of first responders and their culture which I know will be helpful in working with this populations of individuals."

Krista Cowan, LPC, LAC

"The course really goes into detail regarding all the aspects of working with first responders. I especially appreciated the part about understanding first responders culture and coping mechanisms."

M. Drewer-Tabacchi, MA, LPC

"Although I currently work with first responder or as we call them warriors, I found useful valid information to enhance the work I am already doing."

Vonnie Nealon LCDC, ADC II, CFRC

"I found the course thorough, informative, and comprehensive. I liked the different methods of teaching (voiceover slides, videos, reading). I liked the structure of the course as well."

Elizabeth C.
Registered Psychotherapist

"I enjoyed the program and was able to see more on the responder side of things and how as a counselor I could be beneficial to them overall. I would recommend this training and the staff to anybody interested. Wonderful job."

Laura Ferriola, MA, LPC

""I am highly impressed with the content, compassion and professionalism presented in this course. I will definitely recommend the course as warranted. I'm a better counselor for taking this training!""

Terri A., LMHC

""I have been so inspired by learning about and from this extremely important population who deserve to have access to support and resources for their overall health and wellness.""

Meredith Sonetz, MA, LCPC, CADC
Founder and Owner of Heartfelt Recovery

""From a first responder family, I really appreciated the positive approach to the culture, and the extremely culturally competent content in the training. Very insightful and informative!""

Alisha Sweyd, LMFT

Program was released July 1, 2019. 

Email [email protected] with questions or check out our FAQ page.

For program costs, please scroll to the bottom of this page, but be sure and read all the information in between!

Here's What You'll Learn

The care of a warrior is a special calling. Let's get you prepared.

Congratulations on your decision to take seriously the mental health needs of our Law Enforcement and First Responder community. As a Certified First Responder Counselor, you will be specialty-trained in the culture and unique needs of First Responders and Law Enforcement Officers.  This is a 40-hour online training program.

Note: Upon enrollment, you will be allowed 90 days to complete your training. If not completed within that time period, you will lose access and will have to re-enroll and begin again.

In this training program, you will learn:

1. The mentality of a Law Enforcement Officer
2. The perspective of a First Responder
3. The culture / family of response teams
4. The trauma of being a responder
5. The triad of health & well-being in regard to safety
6. Suicide in law enforcement
7. Warrior mentality
8. Peer support vs Peer pressure
9. Denial, Job Security, and other reasons to resist counseling
10. The spouse, children, family of a responder
11. The real goal of helping a responder
12. The importance of self-debriefing as a responder counselor
13. Ethics
14. Confidentiality and trust 
15. Rapport with a warrior
16. Other issues related specifically to working in a counselor role with a First Responder

The CFRC certification has been developed by and is offered by Academy Hour (www.AcademyHour.com) as a means of educating counselors about the very specific needs of law enforcement and first responders. Not all counselors are meant to handle the trauma and situations that these heroes face. Part of this program will include self-assessment to identify your own abilities in regard to working with the intense and difficult situations that responders would discuss in a counseling session. 

EXAM: If you are an independently, fully-licensed counselor, after you have completed the full training program (which contains mini-assessments/quizzes along the way, as well as a recommended book and a 4-hour ride-along), you will be offered the opportunity to take the certification exam.  The exam cost will be $150, and you must take the exam within 30 days of completing the training program (after the initial 90 day access ends).  The exam consists of a 50-question assessment which must be passed with a 90% score or above. You are allowed 2 attempts to pass the exam within the 30-day period.

AND THEN... Upon successful completion of the course, and passing the exam, you will be invited to join the network of Certified First Responder Counselors (CFRCs) with your certification term being effective for one year.  You must, each year prior to your anniversary date, complete at least 2 hours of CFRC-approved continuing education training.  You will be listed on the CFRC site as a Certified First Responder Counselor so that responders in your area may find you and you will receive a quarterly newsletter which will provide you current industry trends, needs and resources.  We will also provide you with links to approved continuing education training.  Academy Hour will offer the needed & approved training, as well, and you may include your annual enrollment in those courses with your renewal application/fee for convenience, if you choose.


  • You will have specialized knowledge of the first responder and law enforcement officer culture, special mental health needs, and expectations.
  • You will be listed in the CFRC Directory as having completed this training program and passed the exam, and can list "CFRC" as part of your credentials.
  • You will receive regular updates throughout the year from the CFRC team, keeping you informed of trends and news that matter to your responder counseling practice.
  • Annual continuing education will keep you current on responder needs and challenges.
  • "Ask An Expert" - we have a team of experts who are former/current responders & officers, as well as counselors & psychologists who are experienced with this population. You may ask them a question and get a video-recorded response specifically answering YOUR question. You may also then view other CFRC counselor questions & responses in our Ask An Expert library.
  • You will be part of the CFRC community, and we will help you network with other counselors who work with the responder population also, so that you can each learn from the other as you go through your career.


DO NO HARM. As a Certified First Responder Counselor you will have a tremendous responsibility and we take the certification very seriously.  If we receive reports of a CFRC-approved counselor doing harm or not upholding the CFRC standards, and we investigate and find the claim to be valid, we reserve the right to remove your certification at any time.  However, we very much want our heroes to have as many reliable and respectable resources as possible, and we look forward to helping provide you the education and knowledge to prepare you for the journey and adventure, and rewarding work, of being a counselor for a first responder or law enforcement officer.

NOTE: Anyone may take this training program, as it is informative, beneficial, and educational as a cultural competency knowledge-builder.  However, if you are not currently a counselor, this does not qualify you to be a counselor.  If you are a counselor student, intern, or a clinician under supervision, you may take the training but may not yet participate in the exam or use the CFRC credentials.  Only counselors who qualify in their state as an independent and fully-licensed counselor may take the exam and use the CFRC credentials upon passing the exam.  (If you are deemed licensed in your state, and could open your own independent and private practice, non-reliant on another counselor or entity to practice, then you may take the exam and use the CFRC credentials.)  If you are not yet fully-licensed, you may take the program for the sake of the education it provides; and when you become fully- and independently licensed, you may take the exam at that time and, upon passing, begin using the CFRC credentials.  At that time, if you’ll let us know you have previously taken the program and are now fully licensed, we will provide you free access for a new 90 days so that you may prepare for the exam.

Licensure CE Training Hours:  -0- This training program is a stand-alone course, which requires its own continuing education training hours; therefore, it is not approved as counseling license continuing education hours. For more detailed information on this, visit our FAQ page here.

NOTE: There are no refunds issued and your enrollment is non-transferable.

The first 10 graduates became the CFRC Inaugural Class and receive continuing education classes from Academy Hour at no cost for the first 5 years.



Email us at [email protected]
or Call us at 405-326-4116

CFRC Program Costs

Click the button to enroll in the training program now and start preparing yourself for an incredible mission.

Training Course $450
(3-month payment plan available)

Examination $150

Continuing Education (x2 hrs/yr.) $50/hr

Annual Renewal $50/yr


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