Pre-Employment Psychological Assessments
Pre-employment psychological assessments serve to help agencies ensure they are hiring new employees who are psychologically healthy, and who are likely to show resilience and professional competence on the job. Assessments most often include a clinical interview, measures of psychological health and functioning such as the MMPI or PAI, and personality profiles. Many organizations, wisely, are also including measures of emotional intelligence to ensure new hires have the skills and emotional intelligence to handle difficult and complicated situations with skill and self-control.
Specialty Section Screening
Often sections such Emergency Response Teams, Covert Operations, Dive Teams, Forensic Teams, and Child Exploitation teams require employees to undergo a psychological assessment prior to selection, and periodically while serving in the unit to ensure employees are suited for the work, and coping successfully with the challenges of what can often be very difficult work. Often these assessments include a clinical interview and tests of psychological health
Fitness-for-Duty assessments help ensure employees remain psychologically fit to perform the functions of their jobs. These assessments may be requested after an employee has been through a traumatic event, or any time where an employee may be under stress of different sorts that may risk affecting their ability to function optimally on the job. Often these assessments include a clinical interview and tests of psychological health and well-being.
Critical Incident Stress Debriefings
While some debate exists in the research literature on the effectiveness of CISDs, many emergency response organization have very active and effective Critical Incident Stress Management programs in place that include offering defusings and CISDs to affected employees. CISDs are typically well received by most emergency responders, and can be an effective component of an integrated CISM program.
Emergency responders have the same stressors and difficulties in life as anyone, plus the added challenge of work that can negatively impact their lives, relationships, and families. Research shows that the vast majority of people who seek counselling find it helpful and effective. Finding a psychologist who understands trauma and emergency response work can help more quickly build an effective and trusting therapeutic alliance. Being proactive to seek counselling early on is very helpful to minimize distress, and ensure one stay healthy and strong.
Emergency response work can take a toll on friendships, marriages, and relationships with children, parents and family. Couple or even family counselling can be an effective tool to improve marriages, relationships, family dynamics, and communication.
Dr. Morley and his colleagues have run a number of very successful 3 Day, residential Resilience Workshops. These workshops have been offered to police officers from sections such as Homicide, Child Exploitation, Collision Analysts, Forensic Identification, Communication Operators, and general duty. The workshops provide both a practical psycho-educational component, along with an opportunity for participants to speak about their lives and their work, to process the cumulative exposure to trauma and unfixable suffering over the course of a career.