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( 5-2 ) JOURNAL OF EMERGENCY MENTAL HEALTH

Volume 5 Number 2

 

GUEST EDITORIAL
Psychological Counterterrorism
-George S. Everly, Jr., Ph.D.

ABSTRACT: At the end of the last century international terrorist groups declared war on the United States. Rather than pursue this war using conventional means, terrorist tactics have been employed. Terrorism represents psychological warfare, not traditional military combat. Threats of assassination, bioterrorism, and even nuclear detonations have been used. Numerous attacks have subsequently been realized against both domestic and international American targets. Winning the war against terrorism means acknowledging and responding to the psychological dynamics inherent in this form of warfare, as well as the military and law enforcement aspects of the war. Consistent with Caplan’s notions of preventive psychiatry, the fight against terrorism must occur on three levels: (1) prevention of the terrorist attacks themselves, (2) mitigating the adverse psychological impact of the persistent threats of terrorist acts, as well as the terrorist attacks when they do occur, and (3) psychological treatment of the lingering adverse effects of threatened or actualized terrorist attacks. The preplanned and/or coordinated psychological efforts to counteract terrorism and prevail in any given war against terrorism shall be herein discussed and subsequently referred to as “psychological counterterrorism.”

 

RESEARCH

The Functions of Art-Making in CISD with Children and Youth
 - Katharyn E. Morgan, B.A.
 
- Patti R. White, Ph.D.

ABSTRACT: Very little has been written about the use of art materials in the debriefing process with young children apart from the familiar assumptions of increasing comfort in the situation and providing a more concrete way for young children to communicate. In this study, art-making was introduced as an integral, although optional, component of the debriefing process in order to examine more fully the functions of art-making in this context. This paper describes a research process and findings from a series of debriefings with four different groups of children and adolescents who had experienced either primary traumatic effects (i.e., were present during a traumatic event) or secondary traumatic effects (i.e., were impacted by a trauma that happened to someone else). The analysis of the artwork and of the comments of the participants are integrated within a theoretical framework combining ideas from the fields of art therapy and the treatment of trauma. From this analysis, there is a description of four functions of art-making in CISD with this population: (a) to increase comfort and emotional safety, (b) to promote expression of thoughts and feelings, (c) to enhance appropriate containment of emotion, and (d) to support ego-strengths. The primary contribution of this research is to offer a clear articulation of the rationale for the consistent use of art-making in CISD with children and youth, and to do so in a way that makes this option available for all debriefers, not just those who are trained as art therapists.

 

A Behavioral-Analytic Model for Assessing Stress in Police Officers:
Phase 1. Development of the Law Enforcement Officer Stress Survey (LEOSS)

- Vincent B. Van Hasselt, Ph.D., SSA
- Donald C. Sheehan
- Alfred H. Sellers, Ph.D.
- Captain Monty T. Baker
- Cori-Ann Feiner, Psy.D.

ABSTRACT: Research and clinical reports over the past 25 years have documented the high level of stress inherent in the law enforcement profession. Further, these findings have indicated a wide range of negative physical and mental health sequelae from this stress. The present study employed a behavioral-analytic assessment approach to develop a brief, early warning screening measure of stress among law enforcement officers, the Law Enforcement Officer Stress Survey (LEOSS). This paper describes the initial phases of the LEOSS development following the behavioral-analytic method, which included situational analysis, item development, response enumeration, response evaluation, and construction of the survey. This process resulted in a final 25-item instrument specifically geared toward evaluation of stress in law enforcement officers. The next phase of research on the LEOSS, and suggestions for directions that research in this area might take, are offered.

 

LITERATURE REVIEW

The Effect of EMDR on the Pathophysiology of PTSD
- Stacy Smith, B.S.

ABSTRACT:  The process of understanding Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been a long and difficult one.  It is safe to say our understanding of this disorder is incomplete, and our exploration into its pathophysiology is fairly recent.  As with any disorder of the brain, the complexities of PTSD are extensive and require integrating cognitive, functional, and chemical components.  Given this complexity, it is no wonder that treating PTSD has also been a challenge.  Treating a disorder whose components are not fully understood is similar to shooting in the dark.  Some shots have hit their mark and some have missed.  More than ten years after its conception, the question of whether Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a hit or a miss is still debated.  If understanding the pathophysiology of PTSD is still recent, understanding the possible physiology behind EMDR is just beginning.  This paper will define PTSD, explain some aspects of its physiology, and present some hypotheses at to why EMDR may be a successful treatment for PTSD.  

 

Use of Gallows Humor and Dark Humor During Crsis Situations
- Wayne Maxwell, M.Ed.

ABSTRACT: Types of humor as used by crisis interveners and first responders to emergency situations will be reviewed. Various disciplines, authors, researchers, and practitioners will be cited to help explain and clarify issues related to the use of humor in such situations and settings. The main focus is on the use of humor as a cognitive and/or behavioral coping strategy which is considered by many to be a reaction to stress events. The article proposes a model including progressive steps of humor, ranging from a respectful to a sarcastic.

 

EMERGENCY MENTAL HEALTH UPDATES

Selected Annotated Journal Resources
- Amy Athey, M.S.
- Kelly Doty, B.A.

BOOK REVIEWS - Patti White, Editor

The Long Goodbye: The Death of Nancy Cruzan -- By William H. Colby
-Reviewed by Meg Kallman O'Connor, M.S.W.

Police Suicide: Tactics for Prevention -- Edited By Dell P. Hackett and John M. Violanti
- Reviewed by Daniel W. Clark, Ph.D.

 




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