Archive for the ‘Mastering Resilience’ Category

Police Psychology:  Good Stress: Bad Stress

by Gary S. Aumiller Ph.D., ABPP

 

Share this Article:

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…)

Share this Article:

Police Psychology | Building Resilience

 by Doug Gentz, Ph.D. Psychological Services

Resilience is the ability to effectively and quickly recover from difficulties, failures, illness, and injuries.  From a neurophysiological perspective, resilience is the ability to recover rapidly from sympathetic nervous system (SNS) over-activations with adequate parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) activations. Since working in law enforcement guaranties moderate SNS over-activations on a frequent basis and intense SNS over-activations on occasion, enhanced nervous system resilience is a long-term survival booster.

Four strategies for enhancing resilience are 1) minimize your exposure to unnecessary negative environmental over-stimulation, 2) take more responsibility for how you interpret your experiences, 3) notice and manage dysfunctional SNS over-activations with PSNS activations as soon as feasible, 4) stay in good cardiovascular condition with a regular aerobic exercise program supplemented with regular strength and flexibility training.   (more…)

Share this Article:

Police Psychology:  Randomness in Life

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP

???????

We can use the idea behind a coin toss to help manage our mental health.

In police psychology, as well at other divisions within psychology, we are always looking for innovative ways to make a point to our therapy clients that is not only memorable, but can be applied to their lives across numerous situations.   One of my favorites uses the coin toss research that is probably as old as psychology itself, or perhaps as old as mathematical probability at least.  I remember reading it as an undergraduate, but didn’t think much of it at the time.  Since then, the simplicity of the research has amazed me.

The researchers tossed a coin in the air and record whether the outcome is head or tails.  The research team tossed the coins 100 times, 1000 times and even 10,000 times.  At the higher numbers, a strange phenomenon occurred. (more…)

Share this Article:

Police Psychology:

5 Principles:  Animated Post

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP, Sara Gaertner, Skylar Aumiller

 

5 Principles to A Simpler Life as a Cop in animation.

 

Share this Article: