This is voluntary. You don't have to go! You don't have to see the dentist, either--ever. You can let your teeth rot and "gum it" the rest of your life.
You don’t have to see your family doctor
for an annual checkup—you can just wait until you have an incurable disease.
That black mole on your leg? You can ignore it—and die. IT’S ALL ABOUT CHOICES—HEALTHY
Just like a physical or dental exam, you may find two or more visits necessary. Again, these are confidential visits,
and the goal is emotional survival in one of the world’s most stressful jobs.
Saving your life on the streets:
Being in top shape, emotionally, can save your life on the streets. If
you—or your partner—are stressed and worried about something going on in your life, you can lose that quarter
to a half second of reaction time that could mean the difference between life and death.
Client-patient confidentiality covers most things, barring (in most states)
a threat to self or others, or elder abuse or child abuse. The therapist is required to report those things—and otherwise
it’s confidential. Discuss it with them to be sure. Absolute assurance of confidentiality and privacy is why many officers
go outside the department for this kind of thing.
Wouldn’t I have to pay for a private therapist?
Probably, but more than likely it would just be a co-pay. But look--perhaps
you already pay something for a gym or workout program. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health! If
it’s a choice of going or not going, we recommend you do so. The salary of most police officers can handle the co-pay
and the mental health return beats the alternatives.
Will I lose my "macho," or "mojo," as a result of going to "touchie-feelie
Of course not. Those who have seen counselors with the serious
goal of resolving issues and developing their strengths know therapy is hard work, can be challenging, and isn't for the faint
of heart if you want to accomplish something. The goal is to come out stronger, with a quicker and clearer "warriors
edge" than ever.
How do I select a therapist?
First, don't sit around waiting until you can find a "cop doc." It's great
if you can find one, but we see too many officers delaying treatment because they can't find a therapist who "already knows
about police work." More important than having someone telling they already know what it's like because they're a cop is having
a therapist/psychologist who is well trained in handling stress, trauma and PTSD. Can they "get it" when you talk to
them? That's what matters.
Ask your peer support officer, or your family doctor—do some shopping. See
someone, above all, who is licensed to do therapy. Make sure the therapist is a "good fit" for you--like selecting a doctor
for your back, you may want to try more than one. Listening, interactive skills and expertise are the most important
It's your own health.