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July 11 , 2009

Reflections of a Police Psychologist


Reflections of a Police Psychologist is an account of the experiences, thoughts, and observations of a seasoned police veteran. It is written for police officers and those who would like a glimpse into the world of policing from the perspective of a former police officer and current police psychologist. Dr. Digliani discusses the major challenges facing those first entering police work. He addresses police field training and identifies the ten police field training pitfalls. The PATROL program, developed to assist new officers, is outlined. It involves an orientation and phase meetings between new officers and the staff psychologist to support them throughout field training. Dr. Digliani discusses how stress management becomes life management within the concepts of life-by-design and life-by-default. Inside the parameters of life management, a list of Some Things to Remember functions as an instrument for transactional change. The issues related to traumatic stress and exposure are discussed. The insights presented originate out of years of treating officers exposed to traumatic events. The role of police peer support teams is examined. Models for a peer support team policy and operational guidelines are presented. There is also information relating to the confidentiality of peer support interactions, a topic of current controversy. Traumatic incident debriefings and their applications in policing are elucidated, along with phase and freeze-frame models of debriefing. Included is a discussion of the current efficacy research pertinent to traumatic incident debriefings. Police family issues and the Foundation Building Blocks of Functional Relationships are outlined. Various family patterns of interaction are identified, including information for families of traumatized officers. There is a discussion of coping with death and loss, a critical area for police officers. An exposition of mental illness and interacting with the mentally ill from a police perspective is presented. Toward the end of the book, the retirement transition is discussed. In retirement or separation from service, officers return to the civilian world. Some experience difficulty with this transition. Issues to consider before retirement are presented. The final chapter includes the general reflections and policing history of Dr. Digliani. These reflections include the insights that come only with years of policing experience in several police assignments, including that of staff psychologist. This is an excellent book for anyone interested in law enforcement, policing, and police psychology.
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