Counseling Cops: What Clinicians Need to Know

Order on-line here or at your favorite bookstore. Available in hardcover, paper back or as an ebook.

Grounded in clinical research, extensive experience, and deep familiarity with police culture, our book offers highly practical guidance for psychotherapists and counselors. Using real life stories from our practices, we vividly depict the pressures and challenges of police work and explain the impact that line-of-duty issues can have on officers and their loved ones. Numerous concrete examples and tips show how to build rapport with cops, use a range of effective intervention strategies, and avoid common missteps and misconceptions. Approaches to working with frequently encountered clinical problems—such as substance abuse, depression, trauma, and marital conflict—are discussed in detail.

Praise for Counseling Cops:

"The most meaningful book I've read in law enforcement in the last 46 years."
Captain David Shiff, Clarkson PD

"Ellen Kirschman, Mark Kamena, and Joel Fay, three accomplished police psychologists, have written Counseling Cops: What Clinicians Need to Know to prepare general-practice mental health professionals to better assess and treat law enforcement officers.... The book is complete with insights into law enforcement culture and vignettes that illustrate the problems faced by both cops and those who choose to treat them. This is truly a practitioner's guide-one informed not only by the authors' experiences but also by a wealth of cited studies. Counseling Cops meets the authors' objectives to educate the generalist mental health practitioner about the law enforcement community. It also transcends that mission and would benefit very-early-career police psychologists. Police administrators may also find this book useful in their struggle to better understand the complex dynamics that affect those whom they are charged with managing....Counseling Cops should be required reading for any mental health professional entering the world of law enforcement, be it as a therapist, educator, or evaluator." Gary M. Farkas, PhD (psychologist and retired police officer.) To read the entire review go to PsycCRITIQUES,I>, 7/​21, 2014, V. 59, #29.

"One of the most comprehensive and useful books that I have read on police counseling. The authors write from real-life clinical experience and understand their clientele. As a researcher and former police officer, I highly recommend this book for psychologists, counselors, and any mental health professional that works with law enforcement officers."
John M. Violanti, PhD, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York; 23-year veteran, New York State Police

"This is the ultimate guidebook against which all other police counseling books will be measured. The book covers issues cops struggle with every day—and presents those issues in plain language for every type of counselor or therapist. The authors have done a magnificent job of describing the psychological impact of police work and explaining both what to do and what not to do when counseling officers. Clinicians learn ways to avoid becoming overwhelmed in intense sessions and get useful examples, quotes, assessment tools, and questions to ask in different circumstances."
Allen R. Kates, author of CopShock: Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


"Kirschman, Kamena, and Fay are respected pioneers in the area of providing mental health services to law enforcement personnel. This book helps clinicians develop both their clinical and cultural competencies for serving cops. It will rapidly accelerate the learning curve of clinicians working with our law enforcement professionals."
--Kevin M. Gilmartin, PhD, author of Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement

"Whether you work with many or few law enforcement clients, Counseling Cops is an essential addition to any therapist's resource library. Cops usually go to therapy for the problems caused by years of urban combat, but they won't talk about things that matter until they trust you. Kirschman, Kamena, and Fay give an in-depth understanding of police culture and what therapists need to know about building an alliance with a cop client. They offer treatment strategies, resources, and rich descriptions of the pressures and consequences of a law enforcement career. What can take years to learn about working with law enforcement officers, this book generously provides between two covers."
—Stephanie Cress, LCSW, RN, Vice President, First Responder Support Network

"The authors have been counseling cops for years, and their expertise is all-encompassing. The recaps at the end of each section offering concrete suggestions are especially helpful. This book is invaluable for every clinician who wants to counsel cops. It would be impossible to do a counseling session justice without knowing every aspect of the world in which the cop lives, moves, and works."—Rev. Jan Heglund, Chaplain, San Rafael (California) Police Department

"Counseling Cops: What Clinicians Need to Know is the current standard by which law enforcement psychotherapy books will be judged. Kirschman, Kamena, and Fay are all practicing clinicians with decades of experience among them, and Fay is a retired law enforcement officer. The book is organized in a manner that makes it ideal both for practical use and as a teaching text at the college or graduate school level. And, in a field where the tone of writing often ranges from the stodgily academic to the sophomorically silly, the prose in this volume is crisp and clear, professional, yet accessible. The narrative is highlighted by illustrative case histories, charts, tables, and appendices for further research, and the text is supported by a thorough bibliography that will satisfy the sternest academician." excerpt from a review by Laurence Miller, Ph.D. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health. (in press)

"I have already purchased your Counseling Cops book and found it to be very informative. Even though we started as a firefighter support team, we are working hard to reach out to our EMS and law enforcement personnel and to work with them in the continuing development of all of our programs. Your book(s) have been very helpful. Please keep them coming!" Gerald Mishoe, Executive Director, Lowcountry Firefighter Support Team (2014).