Posts Tagged ‘polcie psychology’

Police Psychology:  Anger!! Part 1

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP

Police Psychology is always dealing with how to keep officers less emotionally Police psychology: frustrated couplereactive, in particular, not reacting out of anger.   We all experience moments of frustration—moments where we just feel like lashing out at everyone and everything around us because things aren’t working out for us in the ways we wanted.  Frustration is the emotion we feel when we are being opposed, blocked from reaching a goal we want, or barred from doing something we want to do. Frustration is very common, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Frustration can also range from mild to severe, depending on the circumstance. For instance, if you wanted to make it through a green light before it turned red, but by the time you got there it was too late, you’d probably experience minor frustration.  On the other hand, if Notre Dame football has another defensive lineman injured on a jet sweep from a stupid cut block and the referee refuses to call it because he hates the Irish when they have a supposedly inferior opponent… wait I am losing it again.  I need to find a wall to punch.

Cycling Your Frustration

A typical response to frustration is anger—anger at your boss for making you redo your work, anger at your teacher for giving you a bad grade on a paper you spent hours doing, anger at the guy in the car next to you for cutting you off.  When the anger comes from re-living the same incident over and Police psychology: frustrated girlover, I call this “Cycling”—spinning the frustration into anger, saying the same thing over and over until anger builds from your frustration, and then frustration from your anger.  Cycling is a never-ending mess which can have some dangerous consequences, especially if it leads you to say something you know you will regret later.  It is not uncommon for this cycling to turn into something psychologists call the frustration-aggression-displacement syndrome (everything is a syndrome in psychology).  Frustration-aggression-displacement is when you are frustrated at something or someone, but you know you can’t do anything about it. For instance, it is not going to be helpful to yell back at your boss or teacher when they do something that frustrates you, because they have a higher authority than you do, and getting angry with them won’t help assuage your frustration.  So, what do you do? You go home and yell at your wife, or your children, or you kick your dog, or yell at a waiter, or go into a road rage by driving like an idiot—you lash out at people who can’t or won’t fight back.  In doing so, you are alleviating your frustration through aggression directed at people who are not responsible for your frustration.  This is not only unhealthy for you and the people around you, it is also dangerous, and can lead to a downward spiral of increasingly harmful behavior.  And research shows it can lead to heart attacks, cancer, rashes, organ dysfunction, etc.  Yes, the open expression of anger and frustration has been shown in statistical research to be worse than holding it in.  Sort of the opposite of what shrinks have told us in the past. (more…)

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Police Psychology | Fetishes and Philias

by Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D.  ABPP


Do you know you can get pictures of the feet of Hollywood’s top stars?  Want to see Jennifer Aniston’s feet up close?  How about Charlize Theron or Minka Kelly?  What to see what Brad Pitt has been playing footies with dsc00918the past ten years: look up Angelina Jolie’s feet?  Or maybe his rumored clandestine squeeze, just type in Marion Cotillard and gander at those French tootsies.  Yes, it is all there on a site called “Wiki Feet,” the foot fetish dream site.  Between 14% to 25% of males have a foot fetish, and wiki feet is well-known in foot fetish circles.

The cops that work in computer crimes say pictures of sex with animals is next highest up there on people’s computer and “scat” fetishes rank real high too.  Don’t tell a “scat” fetisher to eat sh-t because that gets them off (coprophilia).  There is a whole world of untowardly sexual focus and perversions out there that most people aren’t even remotely aware of.  And most of it passes through a shrink’s office at some time or another.  So let’s get into what “floats your boat” or at least the other boats in your harbor. (more…)

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Police Psychology | EMDR for LEOs

By Tammy McCoy-Arballo, Psy. D.

The Counseling Team International, San Bernardino, CA


No, it is not hypnosis.

That is how the conversation usually starts when I talk to my clients about treating their trauma with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

Doc, if we do this EMDR, you are not going to train me to bark at cars, are you?

Nope. I’ll have you barking at cats, I joke.

I just want to get past it, Doc. I don’t want it taking over my life. I’ll try anything.

My clients, the majority of whom are police officers and fire fighters, usually come to see me when they are at their wits end. They are anxious or depressed; they can’t sleep, or they can’t shake the intrusive thoughts following a critical incident. They do not ask many questions about EMDR when I introduce the topic. They only have one concern: They want to get better. Most of my clients report a decrease in symptoms after their first EMDR session. (more…)

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Police Psychology | How Policing Can Be Improved with Science

 Marcus Clarke is the author of a psychology blog that examines the latest research and explains findings in simple terms.

Police forces around the world face increasing pressure, from cuts to funding to new forms of crime, so ensuring policing standards are maintained and crime rates reduced can be difficult. But one resource that police stakeholder’s often underutilize is science.

Police departments have a tendency to resist lessons from science and nobody really knows why, a general cynicism that science can’t provide the answers may be the problem or it may seem like a personal insult that police departments can’t improve things by themselves. But the truth is that science for all its complexities, when broken down to its basic is a simply evidence based trial and error that can be utilized in by an industry, sector or establishment to provide iterative improvements.

Police Psychology | So how can science help with the small policing stuff?

A large part of a police officers job is to de-escalate situations, while this is unarguably a skill that is built up over time and with experience, even the most proficient police officer can say or do the wrong thing in a highly stressed situation. Police officers are almost universally trained how to introduce themselves in different situations but as police dashboard cams have revealed time again that a standardized approach is rarely implemented and that this one factor alone can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of a situation. (more…)

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