Developing a morning practice is crucial for starting your day with a good intention and some semblance of control in an ever-demanding world; but what should it consist of and how do you implement it?
You might be forgiven for thinking that a life on the frontline is exciting, even glamorous. And on occasion, it is. But for the most part, my job is nothing of the sort. It’s dangerous, it’s far from well paid, and it’s stressful. And I mean, stressful. Nothing focuses the mind more than the sight and sound of a guerrilla army and its arsenal of fully-automatic weapons. And nothing destroys the mind more than the sight of women, children and innocent civilians lying dead or dying at one’s feet.
Research by the American Psychological Association indicates that as many as 75-80 percent of Americans self-report their stress to be at moderate to high levels. Stress can come in many forms, and sometimes we may not even notice or seem bothered by it. So what constitutes stress? The normal daily routine of work or home responsibilities can cause stress, as can experiencing a sudden major life-altering event, such as losing a job, dealing with sudden loss, or a prolonged illness.
Over the years, with the added involvement of oil and gas companies, alongside government contracts, the role of the medic has evolved from working as a ‘team medic’ into a ‘Tier 2’ medic who carries a comprehensive medical kit & medications, and is able to function as a lone medic often in remote locations. These changes have caused multiple shifts in the industry standard and requirements to become a Tier 2 Medic. This should be a good thing but it also comes with pitfalls.
Close protection operative has similar motivating forces to the psychotherapist. We are all in the helping professions, making people feel safer and calmer at difficult times in their lives. It’s a satisfying job that usually makes us feel good about ourselves and our abilities to help.
If you work in an environment where people are likely to get physically injured, then it stands to reason you would want people available with the skills to help.
We all have this incredibly sophisticated system and a brain that is constantly being shaped by our experiences. Everyone is unique in their background, skills, experience and beliefs so it’s impossible to get bored when you’re working with people.
Treatment for PTSD, the person recognizes which factors played a part in their particular event and this can be very empowering. They can replace their own feelings of shame or weakness with an understanding of the complexities of what happened and this usually helps in their recovery.
“Ultimately, I need to know that whoever I’m working with, if the shit hits the fan and I’m in a situation, that my colleagues are going to be there to watch my back”. The ethos of “Leave no man behind” is a mainstay across Armed Forces and equally relevant to professionals in Close & Executive Protection. If a colleague was injured out in the field, would you turn your back and walk away?
For people suffering psychological trauma, often the hardest part is overcoming the fear of accessing help. Even though it has been shown that there are effective treatments, even for PTSD, the ‘pink and fluffy counsellor’ or the drug-dispensing medical “shrink” stereotypes will prevent many people from ever getting advice and treatment for PTSD.