Seminar: Stress Management for Police Officers and Those

by Dr. Ivor Lensworth Livingston & Shaffiran Livingston

Stress affects everyone, yet few people understand what causes it, how it develops, how it affects their bodies, and how they can be more effective in managing their stress. Basically, stress is the body’s way of coping with emotional and physical change and a very necessary part of our modern-day survival response. Numerous stress-related illnesses and diseases, as well as personal behaviors (e.g., the frequent use of tranquilizing drugs like Valium), underscore the need for the seminar. While many people know of stress, few fully understand its nature. As a positive force, stress gives us the push we need to achieve our most coveted goals. However, when stress is unrelenting and out of control, it is a villain that causes unhappiness, sickness, and even death. Nowhere is stress the greatest than in law enforcement. In fact, some have referred to law enforcement as possibly one of the most stressful of all occupations. Wherever police officers are found they usually suffer from similar stressors (e.g., bureaucratic “red tape;” negative interactions with superiors; shift work; mutilated and dead bodies; etc.) and stress-related outcomes (e.g., suicide; family-life problems, as divorce; depression; substance abuse, feelings of excessive anger; etc). Because of these realities, stress management information, like what is presented in this seminar, has become a very needed factor in allowing police officers to know more about stress and how to cope with it more successfully.

This seminar is designed to help police officers, and those close by them, learn how to handle the tension and anxiety that come from the demands of multiple priorities of their personal and professional lives. Because stress occurs both on-the-job, as well as off-the job, the seminar presents information about stress management in general, as well as stress management in the specific organizational lives of police officer (e.g., critical incident stress and post-traumatic stress disorders). By way of an easy-to-follow, multimedia presentation (involving slides, audio and video tapes), interactive discussions, and question and answer period, the seminar provides valuable and current information on stress, as well as proven tools to effectively cope with stress and gain insight into how stress in one area of life (e.g., home) impacts other areas (e.g., work). Essentially, participants will learn techniques to help in managing priorities and methods to effectively reduce everyday stress, thereby improving their health, interpersonal relationships and productivity and health.

This seminar teaches police officers and other participants to personally identify causes (both internal and external) of stress, myths about stress, personal reactions to stress, and how to effectively manage stress using a variety of strategies involving “change,” as well as the application of selected “skills” (e.g., awareness, acceptance, coping and coping).

Overall, learn about stress management from current and state-of-the-art equipment and materials (e.g., biodots, etc.) Identify common sources of police stress. Identify common personal signs and symptoms of stress. Know what stress is and what stress is not. Identify four proven strategy areas and “tools” to use in successfully managing stress.

Who Should Attend
Participation is recommended for police officers and related personnel (e.g., police staff, family members) who experience work or non-work related stress and who feel a need for developing more effective and lasting means of controlling stress at work, at home and in other related environments.

Format of the Seminar
This lively and dynamic four-hour seminar involves a combination of : a) interactive discussions; b) current and state-of-the-art multimedia presentation; and c) an additional question and answer period. The multimedia presentation is presented under three modules patterned after Dr. Livingston’s simplified I-R-M Approach (see modules) to Stress Management (mentioned in his books).

Registration (On-site – 8:30am – 9:00am. Prior registration highly recommended)

I. Introduction (9:00am – 9:15am)
II. Administration of Stress Survey (9:15am – 9:30am)
III. Multimedia/Audiovisual Presentation (3 Modules)
Module #1 ( 9:300am – 10:15am)
Break: 10:15 – 10:30
Module # (10:30am – 11:15am)
Module #3 (11:15am 12:00 noon)

IV. Additional Question and Answer Period (also during the presentation (12:00 noon – 12:15pm)

V. Wrap-Up and Evaluation (12:15pm-12:30pm)




Module III: Managing Stress Using Selected “Changing” Strategies – focusing on the individual and/or combined use of a variety of proven short-term and long-term changes for reducing and controlling stress. The need to be “proactive” versus “reactive” in managing stress. This allows for greater protection or inoculation against stress.

Four Strategies Involving Change For Managing Stress

Behavioral Changes (which involve changes brought about by behaviors, actions and/or responses).

Lifestyle Choice Changes (which involve changes that are associated with the choices made in how you live your life).

Psychological Changes (which involve changes that you need to make as they relate to you how think and feel about yourself, as well as others).

Situational Changes (which involve changes that you need to make as they relate to situations, events, structures and/or people you come in contact with on a daily basis).

The Importance of Having a Personal Plan of Action or PPOA (which ensures more effective stress management, increased productivity and increased health and wellness).