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Posts Tagged ‘self-care’

Secondary Traumatic Stress

May 31st, 2009

During the course of his 15-year career in corrections, Marv has watched a multitude of videos of riots, and incidents of inmate-on-inmate and inmate-on-staff violence. He has also witnessed many such incidents first-hand. He’s had to cut several inmates down who had attempted or completed suicide by hanging. Years later, Marv vouches that nothing that he sees at work upsets him. He has learned to live in a cocoon of detachment, insulated from outside events and from his emotions. His loved ones at home tell him that he’s distant, uncaring, “cold.” Once in awhile though, horrific images visit him in his sleep, and cause him to awaken startled, his heart racing.  Read more…

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Thriving in Corrections

May 30th, 2009

Whenever I come across well-functioning correctional staff, I ask them about the “secret of their success.” Here is some of what I’ve heard over the years. It is divided in three categories which correspond to the three areas DWCO targets in its mission—the occupational, personal and family well-being of corrections staff. Read more…

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Undoing the Stress Response

April 10th, 2009

by Caterina Spinaris Tudor, Ph.D.

Imagine being ambushed by a mountain lion while hiking through the Colorado Rockies. As soon as the big cat knocks you to the ground, you automatically go into fighting mode. Your heart rate and blood pressure shoot up, sending extra blood to your limbs so you can have the strength to fight. Glycogen in your liver and muscles becomes converted to glucose to give you extra energy. Digestion stops. Cholesterol is released in your bloodstream to be an additional source of energy. Blood clotting factors kick into action, so you won’t bleed to death. Endorphins flood your brain to enable you to ignore the pain of bites and broken bones, so you can continue to fight. The adrenaline that floods your system increases your aggression, helping you maintain your fierce determination to survive. This simplified description of physiological changes that occur during a life-threatening attack constitutes “the stress response.”

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