Emotional Survival For Law Enforcement Summary


As a law enforcement officer, you are constantly exposed to high-stress situations. This can take a toll on your emotional well-being. The book “Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement” by Dr. Kevin Gilmartin can help you learn how to cope with the stress of the job and maintain your mental health.

The book covers a variety of topics, including how to deal with vicarious trauma, burnout, and grief. It also offers advice on how to build resilience and manage stress in healthy ways.

If you are looking for a book that can help you understand and cope with the emotional challenges of law enforcement, “Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement” is a great choice.

Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement by Kevin M. Gilmartin, Ph.D., is a book that seeks to educate and instruct individuals interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement as well as their families about the realities of working in law enforcement professionally and personally. And how to get ready for emotional survival while on duty or off duty.

The book goes over self-assessment tools to help the reader get in touch with their own emotional state and how they are currently coping. It also provides strategies on stress management, both for work and home life. There is a focus on the importance of having a support network, both personal and professional. The book offers real-world examples throughout to illustrate points being made.

This book was eye-opening for me in several ways. I had no idea the amount of weight that law enforcement officers carry with them every day or how that can take a toll not just on them but also on their families. I found the book to be well-written and informative. It is clear that Dr. Gilmartin has a wealth of experience and knowledge in this area. I would recommend this book to anyone considering a career in law enforcement or who is currently working in the field.

It also compares and contrasts how officers are treated at the start of their journey with how other cops are treated over time, concentrating on what happens to personnel that don’t know how to survive emotionally. Though it does provide some examples of cops who have emotional survival abilities, it focuses on demonstrating the effects of such skills being lacking on the lives of police officers.

The book spends a good amount of time on discussing the emotional rollercoaster an officer goes through during their law enforcement career. It starts with describing how an officer is filled with excitement and idealism when they first start out. They have visions of making a difference in the world and helping people. They believe that the criminal justice system is there to protect society and that their job is to uphold the law.

However, as time goes on, many officers begin to see the reality of their job. They realize that the criminal justice system is far from perfect and that they are often powerless to help those they want to help. They see the ugliness of humanity on a daily basis and it takes its toll. Many officers become jaded, cynical, and angry. They may start to see everyone as a potential criminal and they can become paranoid. This is where the emotional survival skills come in.

The book goes on to discuss different techniques that officers can use to help them survive emotionally. It talks about how to deal with stress, how to deal with the aftermath of critical incidents, and how to deal with the day-to-day grind of the job. It also gives tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and how to keep a positive outlook.

She begins by describing one’s early years in law enforcement. How idealistic, enthusiastic, and driven young cops are. And how rapidly the world can alter from optimistic to cynical and emotionally charged. How these long-term behaviors, if left unchecked, worsen over time, resulting in mental and physical deterioration.

The book is an easy read, and relatable for anyone in a helping profession. I recommend it to any law enforcement professional, as well as those working in high-stress environments. The book helped me to understand some of the changes I was experiencing during my career, and provided some valuable tools for dealing with them.

One criticism I have is that Gilmartin seems to lump all police officers into one category, without acknowledging the vast differences between departments, regions and agencies. Obviously there are going to be differences in how officers are treated and how they treat others, based on the size of the agency, the location (urban vs rural), etc. However, Gilmartin’s advice would probably still be useful even if tailored to specific departments or agencies.

Overall, I thought this book was extremely helpful and would recommend it to anyone in law enforcement or a high-stress job.

John Gilmartin discusses the book’s themes using his own experiences and stories, making it easier for officers to identify with some of the same qualities. Additionally, Gilmartin discusses officers’ mental changes as a result of continuous exposure to horrible events.

These events can have a cumulative effect that, if not addressed, will result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The book has 10 chapters:

1. The Mind of a Cop

2. The Effects of the Job on Family and Friends

3. Stress Management Techniques

4. Male/Female Differences

5. Race Relations

6. Dealing with the Public

7. Use of Force

8. Suicide Prevention

9. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

10. Conclusion – A Call to Action.

I found this book to be very insightful, particularly Gilmartin’s discussion on how the job affects family and friends, and how important it is to have a support system to help deal with the stresses of the job. I would recommend this book to any law enforcement officer, as well as to their family and friends.

“The specific way of seeing the world from a danger standpoint, having the mentality to perceive situations as potentially hazardous,” says Gilmartin. “Hypervigilance is an officer’s attitude when on and off-duty.”

This book is designed to give law enforcement and their families the tools necessary to deal with the effects of chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma that are commonplace in this field.

It is important for everyone, but especially those in law enforcement, to have an understanding of psychology and how it affects them both on and off the job. This book provides a detailed look at the different psychological concepts that apply to police officers and gives practical advice on how to deal with them.

One of the most useful aspects of this book is the focus on self-care. Too often, police officers neglect their own wellbeing in favor of work or family obligations. This can lead to burnout, compassion fatigue, and other mental health problems.


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