Peer Counseling

WALKING WHILE DRUNK

Thousands of inebriated pedestrians die each year in traffic accidents. I’ve seen drunk people wandering into the street after drinking at various locations in the evening. When you get drunk, you think you’re invincible. You may not be paying attention to anything else. That could have deadly consequences. Whether they’re emptying out of bars, going […] Read More »

TRAINING FOR THE SOUL

Familiar with training? Of course you are! It’s a regular part of the job, sometimes repeated ad nauseam, it seems. It started the moment you walked into the Academy, providing basic skills needed to become an effective deputy. On to Custody, more training. Out to Patrol, even more! And so it goes. Boring sometimes? Sure. […] Read More »

SUICIDE BY COP, PART I

There are numerous situations that emotionally impact law enforcement personnel, but perhaps one of the more distressing is being “forced” into a deputy-involved shooting. The term “suicide by cop” (SBC) was coined in 1983 by Karl Harris, a police officer and psychologist who recognized that many encounters appeared to include a subject wanting to die […] Read More »

MOTIVATION

Sometimes we don’t feel motivated to do this, that or the other thing. I’m often told by employees, “I’m just not motivated to do this,” or “I’m waiting to feel motivated.” Supervisors sometimes tell me, “I can’t get him/her to do what needs to get done without….” Even as a psychologist, it can be difficult […] Read More »

WHAT DO 90-SOMETHINGS REGRET MOST?

Reverend Lydia Sohn interviewed the oldest people she knew. Their answers surprised her. “We all have joys, hopes, fears and longings that never go away no matter how old we get. I associated deep yearnings and ambitions with the energy and idealism of youth. My assumption was that the elderly transcend these desires because they […] Read More »

FLYING UNDER THE RADAR

The picture of an alcoholic is someone who is always drunk, and their life is falling apart because of it. But that’s not always the reality. Some people seem to be just fine even though they abuse alcohol. Experts call these people “high-functioning” alcoholics. “You can be one even though you have a great outside […] Read More »

RECOGNIZING THE PROBLEM

What increases your risk and warrants your attention? It’s driving after you’ve had a few drinks. It can put you in serious danger. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 65 percent of people who died from alcohol-related accidents had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. An equally worrisome statistic […] Read More »

DECISION-MAKING AND PERFORMANCE UNDER PRESSURE

In his article, “Boosting Decision Making and Performance under Pressure: How to Excel under Pressure Conditions,” Marc Schoen, Ph.D., discusses how, for the majority of us, performance in stressful situations can be adapted and improved. Schoen connects any present negative performance back to stressful childhood occurrences when our performance did not adequately meet expectations. Schoen […] Read More »

BALANCE WITHIN AND WITHOUT

I suspect you know the story of David and Goliath. Goliath, a massive Philistine warrior in full armor, spear in hand, is defeated in single combat by a mere boy (and future king), David. With one well-aimed stone flung from a sling…the dreaded giant collapsed. How awesome if we could toss magic rocks at our […] Read More »

Chaplain’s Notebook

Apart from my duties as a chaplain for LASD, I also serve as a hospital chaplain. There, I frequently see patients and their families dealing with tough times — often the toughest of their lives. Good times do not last. Hard times are inevitable. This is Job’s famous lament: “Where is God in tough times?” […] Read More »