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Police Psychology Support Challenges

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Reactions to stressful situations can lead to physiological, mental, and emotional changes. In the early 1930s, Dr. Hans Selye (1978) documented a "stress response" that is experienced by the body because of stress. As a person deals with a stressful situation, the brain responds to perceived danger by producing chemicals that prepare the body to react to that danger. Physical readiness for a stress response involves an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, increase in perspiration, and pupil dilation. At the same time, emotions can run high with feelings of fear, irritability, anxiety, and/or worry. Mentally, responses can include irrational thoughts that lead to depression, anxiety, and physiological problems. If a person perceives events as continuing to be dangerous, this physical and emotional state will be maintained and the individual's immunity will suffer; severe illness could result. According to Selye (1978), the body cannot withstand the stress response for too long, and will suffer by wearing itself down.

Police professionals encounter stressful situations daily, simply because of the unpredictability of events that occur and the subsequent danger they often face. Therefore, the police professional may remain in a sustained physiological state of stress, feeling anxious about possible injury or death, and having thoughts of impending disaster. Police professionals may try to cope with this stress by engaging in destructive behaviors that may increase stress and produce additional problems. Forensic police professionals can provide prevention and intervention programs to assist police professionals in developing and improving coping strategies to deal with sustained stress. You might imagine that utilizing available resources and addressing these issues would be common sense and common practice. However, despite the continued stress police professionals experience and the availability of services to mitigate the consequences, many do not take advantage of these services. Stereotypes about psychological services and a lack of protection for personal privacy are pervasive in the policing community. Regardless of what police organization you may work for as a forensic psychology professional, you are bound to face a number of stereotypes and challenges that make it difficult to assist police professionals. Couple this with ethical issues that arise while working with police professionals, and you can understand the necessity for forensic psychology professionals to be informed, prepared, and armed with strategies in their "toolbox" to address these challenges and issues.

• Review the following articles and think about the challenges and stereotypes forensic psychology professionals must overcome when encouraging police professionals to use psychological resources.

• "Law Enforcement Preferences for PTSD Treatment and Crisis Management Alternatives"

• "Characterizing Perceived Police Violence: Implications for Public Health"

• "Helping First Responders Withstand Traumatic Experiences"

• "The Effectiveness of Individual Wellness Counseling on the Wellness of Law Enforcement Officers"

• Review the "Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists." Consider the guidelines that are relevant to forensic psychology professionals providing support and interventions to police professionals.

• Review the book excerpt, "Confidentiality of Psychological Information and the HIPAA in Police Psychology." Think about the ethical guidelines and issues forensic psychology professionals could face when providing support and interventions to police professionals.

• Select two challenges that forensic psychology professionals face when encouraging police professionals to utilize available psychological support and interventions. Consider how you would address these challenges.

• Select one ethical issue related to forensic psychology professionals providing support and interventions to police professionals. Think about the ethical guidelines that could apply to this issue.

a description of two challenges faced by forensic psychology professionals when encouraging police professionals to utilize available psychological support and interventions. Explain how you would address these challenges. Then, analyze one ethical issue that the forensic psychology professional could encounter when providing psychological support and interventions. Be specific and cite the applicable ethical guidelines.

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Police Psychological Intervention Issues

The police face some of the most stressful and psychologically challenging tasks in the course of their work some of which include being in violent and traumatic situations. Forensic psychologists primarily (CCJ, 2015), "apply the study of the mind to legal matters. Forensic psychology professionals work with offenders, victims and authorities to provide insight into criminal behaviors and actions." For police psychologists - forensic psychologists who specialise in supporting the functions of law enforcement, one of their main tasks is to ensure that the police officers and support staff are psychologically healthy as fitness for duty is reliant on physical health as well as competencies and psychological health. If there are 2 issues that police psychologists face that are of concern I think 1 is the ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of police/forensic psychology challenges in providing intervention and support. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.