Police Psychology: Wish List
by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
When I finished my doctoral dissertation, I had mesmerized my committee with a great presentation and knew just about everything ever published on my topic: “training parents to make kids behave.” I literally knew more then anyone in the room on the topic and when I left the room, everyone was supposedly impressed as hell. Then I came back in the room, and was told that they felt I was too obsessed with the topic and I needed to learn how to live instead of just the science. See my mom had died in my first year of graduate school, and I had finished a five-year program in 3 ½ years, and my dissertation was three times the size of most of the dissertations they had seen. The committee gave me an exercise in the book The Magic of Thinking Big and said I wasn’t finished my school until I did the exercise. I was in shock, but I went home and absorbed the book before I went to sleep (I guess I did tend to obsess) and the exercise was to make a “wish list” of the things I wanted to do in my life. My list should be 100 items long and I was to think big.
I started writing and came up with 111 things including build a career, go to Paris and Italy, begin to learn to speak Italian. Then I started thinking big and came up with sing on a gondola in Venice, cook in a French restaurant in France, travel to the furtherest point in the earth, see a national championship football game again, save a life, be in a movie, etc., etc. I wanted some things that were a little out there, but surprisingly it made me feel better to dream and to take the time to think of myself and what I wanted to do. I didn’t realize the power of the “wish list” until a few years later. When I had become a police psychologist. (more…)