CopShock: Second Edition
Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

by Allen R. Kates, MFAW, BCECR


Many worthwhile publications about trauma, police and first responder issues exist. The following are but a few.


American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (AAETS)—Traumatic Stress Library
See National Center for Crisis Management bookstore.


American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association publishes The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental conditions. Among other disorders, the Association describes PTSD symptoms and treatment on its website.
   The organization also publishes a pamphlet series covering many areas such as anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, Panic Disorder, PTSD, and substance abuse.
   Go to: or Write: American Psychiatric Association, 1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1825, Arlington, VA 22209. . Call toll-free: 888-357-7924. From outside the US, call 703-907-7300.


American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association offers a number of articles on topics such as anger, anxiety, trauma, depression, eating disorders, therapy and PTSD. The website also provides news releases, and access to information about books and abstracts from hundreds of scholarly journals.
   Go to: Write: American Psychological Association, Office of Public Affairs, 750 First Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20002-4242. Phone: Toll-free 800-374-2721 or 202-336-6123.


Clinical Handbook
A Clinical Handbook/Practical Therapist Manual For Assessing and Treating Adults with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), written by Donald Meichenbaum, Ph.D., a well-known expert and author on PTSD, covers a great deal of ground.
   Primarily for counselors, it includes sections on combat veterans, crime victims, positive outcomes from traumatic events, suicide, flashbacks, substance abuse and stress inoculation. The book describes how to assess PTSD, how to use and modify critical incident stress debriefing methods, and how to conduct different kinds of intervention and treatment.
   Voted one of the ten most influential psychotherapists, Dr. Meichenbaum has also written Stress Inoculation Training, Pain and Behavioral Medicine, and Cognitive Behavior Modification: An Integrative Approach, which is considered a classic in its field. In addition to conducting a private practice, he is Research Director of the Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention.
   Write: Dr. D. Meichenbaum, University of Waterloo, Department of Psychology, Waterloo, ON N2L-3G1, Canada. Phone: 519-885-1211, ext. 2551.


Crisis, Stress, Trauma Books and Videos
Chevron Publishing publishes and distributes books and videos which promote the understanding and management of crisis, stress, trauma and violence. They specialize in books relevant to disaster mental health, emergency services, crisis intervention, and rescue professions, including books by the founders of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF), and several of the ICISF faculty members. Please check out their selection of publications online.
   Go to: Write: Chevron Publishing Corporation, PO Box 6274, Ellicott City, MD 21042. Phone: 410-418-8002.


Developing A Law Enforcement Stress Program
The National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) provides clearinghouse support for the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) including distribution of NIJ publications. Developing a Law Enforcement Stress Program for Officers and Their Families by Peter Finn and Julie Esselman Tomz, 1997, is an invaluable NIJ reference for police administrators, union representatives, peer counselors, police officers and their families.
   You can download the entire 222-page book published by the National Institute of Justice for free at: or order a photocopy.
   Other significant Justice Department reference books that can be ordered free from the NCJRS are Critical Incidents in Policing, Law Enforcement Families: Issues and Answers and Psychological Services for Law Enforcement. Important books that may be purchased are Coping With Police Stress and Preventing Law Enforcement Stress: The Organization’s Role. The contents of some of these books may be found at NCJRS’ website, the Justice Information Center.
   Go to: Write: NCJRS, Box 6000, Rockville, MD 20849-6000. Call toll-free: 800-851-3420. Phone: 301-519-5500.


Grief, Loss and Healing
Gifts My Father Gave Me: Finding Joy After Tragedy was written by Sharon Knutson-Felix, Executive Director of the 100 Club of Arizona, with the assistance of Allen R. Kates, author of CopShock. The 100 Club is a benevolent organization that helps police officer and firefighter families in times of need. At one time, members from this organization knocked on Sharon’s door. Her police officer husband had been killed in-the-line-of-duty. Several years before that, her six-year-old son was killed by an impaired driver. The book is a remarkable story about surviving loss and grief, and finding love and joy again. It includes a Grieving and Healing Guide. I had the privilege of assisting Sharon in the writing of her book.
   Go to:


It’s OK Not To Be OK—Right Now…
How to Live Through a Traumatic Experience
It’s OK Not To Be OK is a book and separate audio tape written and narrated by Mark D. Lerner, Ph.D. Dr. Lerner provides practical information to help you understand what’s happening to you during a crisis and how to regain a sense of control. I advise anyone who has experienced a traumatic incident to read this excellent 5-star book that will ease your emotional pain and teach you how to survive and thrive. The book and audio tape can be ordered separately through or from Dr. Lerner’s website.
   You will also find on his website a lot of information about stress and trauma, as well as many other publications he has been involved with to help you through a crisis.
   Go to:


I Love A Cop, (Revised Edition):
What Police Families Need To Know

This easy-to-read self-help book prepares cops and their loved ones for coping with the stress of police life and work. Author Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D., a renowned police psychologist, has worked with police officers and their families for over twenty years.
   For reviews and to order I Love A Cop, search


Magazines for Law Enforcement Officers
There are many excellent online and print magazines for law enforcement officers that feature articles that keep you informed about everything from equipment, armor, tactics and weapons to peer support and how to cope with stress. Reading articles by other cops keeps you part of the law enforcement community at times that you feel isolated and alone because of stress and trauma. Here are some of them.

9-1-1 Magazine, managing emergency communications. Go to:

American Cop: tools and training for real cops. Go to:

Blue Line: Canada’s National Law Enforcement Magazine. Go to:

Chief Learning Officer: for academy directors and training supervisors. Go to:

Chief of Police Magazine: subjects that would influence decision-making within police departments. Go to:

Corrections Forum Magazine: for senior corrections management. Go to:

Corrections Today: a publication of the American Correctional Association. Go to:

Dispatch Monthly: news and information about public safety communications. Go to:

Evidence Technology Magazine: for evidence/crime scene technicians or those engaged in forensic analysis. Go to:

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin: monthly. Go to:

FLETC Journal: an unofficial law enforcement training magazine published by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Go to:

Law & Order Magazine: publication for police management, and everybody else in law enforcement. Go to:

Law Officer: tactics, technology and Training for Today’s
Law Enforcement Officer. Go to:

Law Enforcement Technology: for law enforcement decision-makers. Go to:

National Institute of Justice Journal: research, development and evaluation agency of the US Department of Justice. Go to:

PI Magazine: professional investigator magazine. Go to:

Police and Security News: information source for law enforcement and Homeland Security. Go to:

Police Chief Magazine: official voice of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Go to:

Police Marksman Magazine: tactical excellence in law enforcement training. Go to:

Police Magazine: for the community of cops. Go to:

PORAC Magazine: publication of the Police Officers Research Association of California. Go to:

Police Review: a magazine for UK police published by Jane’s, the same people that publish military books. Go to:

Public Safety IT Magazine. Go to:

Security Management: a magazine published by ASIS Inter-national, an international organization for security professionals. Go to:

Sheriff Magazine: publication of the National Sheriff’s Association. Go to:

SWAT Digest: a platform that meshes the tactical skills, training and knowledge of both law enforcement and military special operations. Go to:

Tactical Response: the publication for Special Enforcement. Go to

The Blues Police Newspaper: Texas’s oldest and largest police newspaper. Go to:

Women Police Magazine: official publication of the Inter-national Association of Women Police. Go to:


Peer Support Training Manual
On police psychotherapist Nancy Bohl’s website, she offers a series of very helpful articles including crisis intervention, critical incident trauma, and trauma in the workplace. She also offers breathing and relaxation techniques and surveys and self-tests for compassion fatigue, depression, work addiction risk, alcoholism, stress and anger.
   Go to: Write: The Counseling Team, 1881 Business Center Drive, Suites 11 & 12, San Bernardino, CA 92408. Call Toll-free: 800-222-9691. Phone: 909-884-0133.


National Center for Crisis Management Bookstore
The National Center for Crisis Management (NCCM), in collaboration with The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (AAETS), have an excellent bookstore that distributes books and other resources for the professional and survivor alike.
   They offer books that help professionals address crisis situations and the emergent psychological needs of those exposed to traumatic events. Many of the books address traumatic stress and crisis management.
   These publications include subjects such as crisis response in our schools, university crisis response, becoming stress-resistant, community response to terrorism, acute traumatic stress management, how to deal with anxiety and nervous fatigue, group crisis support, depression, crisis intervention and many more.
   Go to: or Write: AAETS/NCCM, Administrative Offices, 368 Veterans Memorial Highway, Commack, NY 11725. Phone: 631-543-2217.


Spiritual Survival for Law Enforcement
The book titled Spiritual Survival for Law Enforcement by Cary A. Friedman is a must have for every police officer. Too often we focus on our emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing, but forget that we are primarily spiritual creatures having a physical experience. The book provides spiritual fortification for officers faced with horrific experiences that challenge their most deeply held personal beliefs. Focused on inner peace and finding clarity, this practical guide is jam-packed with exercises, tools, and insights that you can’t do without. As Friedman says, it “nourishes the spirit of everyday heroes.”
   A much admired chaplain and rabbi, Friedman writes about coping with trauma regardless of religious denomination. He is the spirituality consultant to the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico, Virginia, and to the law enforcement community in general.
   The author of five books, he has also written the book Wisdom from the Batcave. In 18 lighthearted chapters, he uses Batman’s example to illustrate profound truths such as How to Triumph over Adversity, the Value of Inspiring Others, and A Better Definition of Victory. Focusing on relationships with self, others and the community, the book illustrates how to live a better life, something trauma sufferers want and need.
   Go to: and to Write: Rabbi Cary A. Friedman, Compass Books, PO Box 3091, Linden, NJ. Phone: 908-868-1023.


Trust After Trauma
One of the most prolific authors on trauma is Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D. She has written many easy-to-read books on trauma’s aftermath, including I Can’t Get Over It, A Handbook for Trauma Survivors, Second Edition, and Trust After Trauma, A Guide To Relationships for Survivors and Those Who Love Them. Many people consider I Can’t Get Over It a bible for trauma sufferers. Her most recent book for law enforcement is titled, In Harm’s Way: Help for the Wives of Military Men, Police, EMTs & Firefighters. She also wrote the publication titled, Back from the Front: Combat Trauma, Love, and the Family.
   For descriptions of her books, go to: