Police Psychology | Becoming a Psychological Investigator When No One Asked Me To
by Marla Friedman Psy.D.,
I just finished watching Detective Gary Traver’s video, The Joy of a Missing Person Case. I know exactly what he means. I am a police psychologist who has a full-time therapy practice, trains chiefs of police, FTO’s and rank and file officers as well as publishes articles nationally on mental health and suicide prevention. I love all that I do with law enforcement.
However, my secret wish, when I heard there was such a job, was to become an FBI profiler. Too bad, so sad. I was too old, and I don’t run fast or jump high. So I decided to create my training program to learn how to investigate crimes. How happy was I to find that some of the top investigators from the FBI, NYPD and other departments and associations were teaching during their off time or their retirement. At the time I didn’t realize that some of these people were the developers of profiling at the FBI behavioral unit. I learned so much from Robert Ressler and Roy Hazelwood. I took the basic and advanced courses in “the Reid Method.” I learned how to detect deception from Avinom Sapir, and did a 24-hour training with Vernon Geberth forcing myself to look at all kinds of nasty pictures until I could read his book and eat my lunch at the same time (not easy and a wonderful weight loss method.) I did ride a-longs, field interviews, went to jail to talk to bad guys, watched interviews through the two-way mirror, wrote up psychological analysis on cold cases; you name it I did it. I attended everything I could, even when told, “no psychologists allowed!” I found a way to talk myself in. So, my adventure began! (more…)