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Work Done: The Price Paid (From Treating Police Stress: The Work and the Words of Peer Counselors, P 232-243, 2002, John M. Madonna, Jr. and Richard E. Kelly, -- See NCJ-197081)

NCJ Number
Date Published
12 pages
Based on interviews with peer counselors in police department stress units, this chapter identifies the stresses experienced by these counselors and how they deal with them.
Peer counselors enter into the emotional and situational worlds of police officers whose personal resources are not sufficient to cope with what is happening in their work and personal lives. For each client, the peer counselor makes a commitment to the client and his/her family of being available to them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, they are involved in administrative duties necessary to obtain the resources needed to perform their duties effectively. All of those interviewed reported that their own stress had posed problems; however, all preferred to pay the price rather than change to other duties in their departments. Means of coping with the stress of their jobs included taking relaxing family vacations; interacting with fellow unit members to share frustrations and pressures; drawing upon spiritual resources; and relinquishing the belief that one was responsible for the decisions, behaviors, and feelings of clients. The acceptance of one's personal limitations and one's own needs for support and nurturing were critical in managing the stress of the unit's work.


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