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Archive for October, 2009

Sanity Tip–Think Ahead

October 22nd, 2009

Thinking ahead, being proactive instead of reactive, can often save our sanity. Here are some ways to do that.

  • Anticipate problems and take measures ahead of time to reduce or even eliminate their impact.
  • Manage your money wisely to reduce your financial stress. Read more…

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Sanity Tip–Empower Coworkers

October 16th, 2009

Be a force for positive change.  Empower your colleagues.  Point out progress, no matter how small.  Tell them what value they contribute to the team and the institution.   Read more…

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From Shut Down to Alive!

October 15th, 2009

The other day my friend Paul, a corrections professional, told me that he once was a tender-hearted, warm person. “Now,” he mused, “after 16 years in corrections, I feel shut down. If somebody really hassled me I might feel some anger. Otherwise I’m a flat line. I can’t feel much inside, either good or bad. In a way it’s easier not to be getting worked up over things, but I know something’s not right!” He added, “Linda keeps complaining that I’m too distant with her and the kids.”

“What do you think happened?” I asked.

Paul’s answer came after a long pause. “I think I just got too used to keeping myself under control in order to remain professional.” Read more…

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Comes with the Territory

October 9th, 2009

Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) can be of great help to staff who struggle with substance abuse issues. In my counseling practice with Corrections Officers over the past nine years I have noted an additional area of need which crops us frequently with corrections personnel—that of posttraumatic stress. In fact, these two areas of substance abuse and psychological traumatization may well be interrelated. The “dual” (double) diagnosis literature indicates that oftentimes substances, such as alcohol, are the tool people abuse to “muffle” (self-medicate) their posttraumatic symptoms and make them more tolerable for a short while.1

Posttraumatic stress takes a heavy toll on body, soul, and spirit.1 In addition to substance abuse, untreated posttraumatic stress may contribute to high turnover, sick leave, and early disability retirement in corrections. And it may be at least partly responsible for the high suicide rates among Corrections Officers.2

Read more…

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