Archive for the ‘Police Therapy Tactics’ Category

Police Psychology:  Good Stress: Bad Stress

by Gary S. Aumiller Ph.D., ABPP

 

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Police Psychology:  Fake News

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

 

My first TV show appearance was in March 1991, a couple of days after the Rodney King Incident in Los Angeles.  The president of the police union I worked with asked me to go along on a TV interview because the deck was stacked against him with a member of the ACLU and civil rights leaders as the other guests.  The attacks were vicious against the union president at first, then I spoke up and said that many mental illness protocols show that “jumping to conclusions” is a type of delusional thinking that comes with narcissistic, histrionic and borderline personality disorders, and even worse comes with paranoid psychosis where conspiracy theories play out.  The fact was we didn’t have any knowledge of what happened before the videotape of Rodney King, the toxicology report on him, or even his history.  I suggested we should wait for those results to draw conclusions.  That was not a popular idea with the anti-police persons, but it did shut them up, and gave the PBA president something to play off.  History confirmed my contention.  As it turns out, when the opening ten seconds of the video that the TV  Station KTLA had edited out were shown, the officers were acquitted in state court.  The press caused a reaction, created news, and once created it was not destroyed.  Essentially, if that video were not to have riled masses, causing riots which enabled part of LA to be held hostage, this would have probably been handled internally by the department with the same results.  One officer was later found to have made six unnecessary blows after King was subdued and a second officer (the second was the supervisor) were found guilty of a civil rights violation in federal court.   

“Fake News” is no stranger to people in law enforcement.  Name the police administrator (or psychologist) who hasn’t been misquoted (or misinterpreted) by the media, and I will show you someone that hasn’t spoken to the media very much.  It is not endemic to all media, but it does show up a lot.  It has gotten extreme lately on both political sides.   Russian collusion, traitors by email, selling the country to enemies either by hotel room profits or donations, it is getting hard to distinguish what is news and what is not.  Is it just our innate desire to find the needle of evil in the haystack of life?  Or is it being fed to us to draw delusional conclusions that border on mental illness?  Either way, psychology is definitely involved here. (more…)

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Police Psychology | Divorce Part 4: Starting a New Life

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

 

So, it’s done!  The lawyers are gone, the courts are played out, the property and kids are separated and one of you is living in the house or it has been sold.  You are situated in a comfortable but “not exactly home” place of your own without a spouse living with you.  What do you do now?

The last time you dated you were really young, in fact in your twenties, if not your teens.  There has been a lot of life since then.  Internet dating has taken off, but we all have heard the horror stories of that.  There is no college bar anymore, at least for middle age people.  Perhaps you already have a girl or guy lined up, maybe even dated them while you were still with your ex.  What problems happen now?  Could this ever work?  The good news is you are free again to remake your life.  The bad news is this is the time people make huge mistakes.  We are all going to deal with this in ourselves, a colleague or a friend, so you might as well read below. (more…)

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Police Psychology | Parkinson’s Law

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

 

In 1955, a year before my birth, an English historian who had worked in civil service was written up in the magazine “The Economist” about a law of nature that would control my life, in fact, controls many of us.  He said “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”   “Data expands to fill the storage available” is a corollary to the initial observation and finally “if you spend 10 hours on a project you will be twice as far behind than if you only spend five hours on the project.”  I think these were meant to be humorous, but I am not exactly laughing about them.  In fact, it may have been true back then, but now it is more like work expands to fill any time in the day, including the time set aside for relaxation and comfort, and sometimes even dinner.   

Why does this happen?  Why does it seem we are always running out of time?  Why do deadlines appear even when they are not apparent at first?  Of course, there is the obvious, that people’s natural tendency to procrastinate work causes deadlines to appear that didn’t exist before.  People want to do non-work things more than work things.  Deadlines are unnatural and imposed on us usually from outside.  Everybody gets that.  But what are the other reasons that works expands to fill the time allotted or usually more than the time allotted?  How is it that we always seem to underestimate the time needed to complete a project? (more…)

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Police Psychology:  Divorce Part 3

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

 

“At first I was afraid, I was petrified.  Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side.”

So starts the 70’s anthem song about the breakup.  Gloria Gaynor in 1978 found silver, gold and platinum, and became the singer of the only song to ever win a Grammy in the Best Disco Song of the Year category (it was only given one year before disco died in the charts).  It spoke to every woman “thinking how he did me wrong” and she “grew strong” and learned she had to survive.  It was excitement, passion, and most of all, something a large part of the record buying population could relate to.  And it was for men too.  Not too shabby for the “B” side of a small record by a Newark “New Joisy” girl.

Why did so many people relate to it?  It was a theme of recovery from a bad breakup and the mantra “I Will Survive” rang out for anyone who has had the experience of the severe wrenching pain when love turns into despair.  Survival is the most important thing through divorce.  Survival through terrible emotional ups and downs, through some severe depression, through grief.  What happens when you don’t survive?  You become bitter towards others.  You check out at work or overemphasize the role of work in your life, and you may not be ready for another relationship in your whole life.  Most suicides, especially in police populations, are stimulated by relationship breakups or relationship problems.  So, surviving a divorce is very important, in fact it is paramount to your future as a healthy individual.  How do you survive and how do you help your friends or a person that works for you survive during this most critical time in their life?  Let me give just a couple of principles of survival during divorce. (more…)

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