Whether it’s a standoff with a suspect or an intense conversation with your boss, high-pressure situations are a regular part of the life of a justice professional.
- physiological (physical), emotional and mental effects of threat,
- and how to manage panic for the stable handling of intense situations.
Justice Clearinghouse Editors (JCH): Your webinar is about managing the fear or panic response. Can you get into specifics? What is this response?
Amy: Our natural reaction to a threat is to do whatever it takes to ensure our safety – this means we have natural responses, things our mind and body do, when we see a threat. This webinar will talk about what those are, how they affect us, how different people respond in different ways, and how to manage those reactions. By knowing what our natural reaction is to a threat, and knowing how to control it, we are left in a better position to then calmly manage that threat and stay safe.
You don’t have to have a gun pointed at you
in order to feel a sense of panic, fear, or threat.
JCH: What is the most important thing law enforcement officers can remember when trying to manage or control the fear or panic response when in an emergency situation?
Amy: Know yourself. The best way to manage anything is to first know how something affects you, and know what works for you to manage that response.
The information in this webinar can be applied to any situation
that takes you out of your calm, stable state
and into one of feeling threatened or even “intensely challenged.”
JCH: Fear – or the “fight or flight” response – is a natural response humans have. It sounds like what you’re describing is to overcome that instinctual response?
Amy: In the webinar, I will explain how this response affects someone physiologically – it’s definitely got the “fight or flight” aspect to it, but there are smaller, specific ways I’ll describe to manage the effects of the instinctual response.
JCH: How can other justice professionals or first responders apply your key lessons about managing the fear or panic response? Is this set of skills as applicable to, say, prosecutors? Judges?
Amy: You don’t have to have a gun pointed at you in order to feel a sense of panic, fear, or threat. Even an intense conversation can bring out these same physiological responses in us. A certain type of person can trigger the responses in us, or “push our buttons,” as well. The information in this webinar can be applied to any situation that takes you out of your calm, stable state and into one of feeling threatened or even “intensely challenged.”
JCH: What has been some of the most interesting things you’ve learned about how people can manage or control the fear or panic response during your research?
Amy: I really enjoy learning the neurological aspects – how different parts of our brain react and change according to situations. It’s very nerd-like of me, but I get really excited when I see information on what specific situations do to our brain, and how the chemicals all react and cause us to behave in certain ways.