Police Psychology | Not-So-Fantastic Four
by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
The Human Torch, the Invisible Woman, the Thing and Mr. Fantastic are Marvel’s creation of four people with super powers who work together as a team to stop crime. Not one of their powers is complete, but together they are unstoppable. In fact in each adventure, at least one of them is in jeopardy, but gets saved by the other. They are effective as a team and that is why we like them so much.
“Stress” also is a team and is a powerful team that works together for one overall effect. It’s just not such a good team. You see, stress is cumulative, and one stress builds on top of the other. Individually, they might not be so effective, but together they can put you on the floor.
I would like to propose that when it comes to police psychology, we look at law enforcement as having four sources that contribute to police stress: institutional, lifestyle, traumatic, and operational. I call them the Not-So-Fantastic Four — The superheroes of making stress!