Our guest, Police Lieutenant Sarko Gergerian of the Winthrop Massachusetts Police Department, is fighting for change. Change in policy, change in the way drugs are classified, and a change in the way officers can reach out for help. He dreams of a day when first responders have access to the mental health care they need and the War on Drugs is over. Sarko is not only a peace officer in Massachusetts, he is also a psychotherapist, Karate Professor, and advocate for psychedelic medicines – having experienced firsthand the healing potential they have. We discuss the challenges first responders face, the domestic violence problem, and the changes that are being made to make our nation a better place.
“This is one of the most amazing countries on earth, in my opinion. And it deserves reverence and care. And we need to keep working to make it better”
Sarko Gergerian is a master's level clinical mental health counselor with a background in philosophy, religion, and psychology, and is currently doing doctorate-level work at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Depth, Jungian and Archetypal Psychology. He is trained in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and holds the 100-hour certificate from the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He is the first working peace officer in the country to complete an experiential training component sanctioned by the Federal Government which allowed entry into an expanded state of consciousness by MDMA during psychotherapy and the first to earn the Certified Addiction Recovery Coach (CARC) credential from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Sarko currently works as a police peace officer at the rank of Lieutenant and a psychotherapist. In these roles, he founded one of the first Guardianship police models in the country known as C.L.E.A.R. He is a certified police peer professional who works to not only find and help civilians stay out of cages and caskets, but also connect with first responders so they do not succumb to job-related stress injury. In his lifetime, he has worked as a certified personal trainer, natural bodybuilding competitor/coach, and mental health first aid instructor. He is a published thinker, national trainer, and international speaker. He is an activist working to bring the War on Drugs to an end.
Sarko believes that a strong therapeutic alliance is foundational to psychotherapy. He uses empathy, active listening, and proper questions to engage in meaningful therapeutic dialogue, which is always trauma-informed, strengths-based, and person-centered. He believes that resilience and capacity expansion in all of the domains of wellness should be central to self-care. In addition to policing and psychotherapy, he holds professor-level rank in American Kenpo Karate (AKK) and is a certified Heart Math meditation instructor and trainer.
The first working police officer in the United States to earn the certified addiction recovery coach credential – Police Lieutenant Sarko Gergerian
The different types of education police offers should have
The Federal Bureau of Narcotics made everything worse- how has policing adapted?
Could safe supply be the answer to our drug problems?
The war on drugs is a terrible war
Moral injury and the domestic violence problem
These people are people in need of support
How did a police officer come to realize the potential benefits of psychedelics?
The wheels of change go very, very slowly
The positive impact of Martial Arts
The importance of firearms training for police officers
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