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CopShock, Second Edition: Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Paperback – September 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Holbrook Street Press; 2nd edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966850122
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966850123
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #299,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


CopShock should become required reading for every member of every police department in the country, if not the world. At the very least it should be made part of the mandated curricula in every police recruit training program and placed on every supervisory promotion exam bibliography. The book can be as meaningful as a bulletproof vest, because PTSD is a greater cop killer than all the guns ever fired at police officers. --Lt. James F. Devine (Ret.), CSW, CASAC, CEAP, former director of NYPD Counseling Services

Allen Kates is one of the first to dramatically expose the stresses on some of the most important people in our society: police officers. As crime and other disasters increase in our society, we need our police officers more and more. Yet every year we are losing increasing numbers of police officers to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, depression, substance abuse, violence, suicide, and other stress related problems. As Kates continually stresses, we need to take better care of police officers, the people who are preserving our lives, if not for their sakes, for our own. --Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D., author of 9 books on trauma and PTSD

As clinicians... we are only too aware of the pain and suffering that many officers face after a traumatic incident. All too often, many officers keep their pain hidden, thus creating a fertile climate for PTSD. Allen Kates' book is a poignant, descriptive, and accurate portrayal of PTSD and its effects on those who have been traumatized. He lists a wonderful variety of help sources for police officers and their families. We encourage all emergency service workers and family members, not just those in law enforcement, to read this book, for it will help the reader to become more sensitive to the rigors of the job. --Ronnie M. Hirsh, Ph.D., Director, Manhattan Counseling and Psychotherapy Associates, LLC

About the Author

Allen R. Kates, BCECR, MFAW, is a trauma expert and journalist. He is Board Certified in Emergency Crisis Response (BCECR) by the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, and has earned certificates in critical incident stress debriefing and management, suicide intervention, PTSD therapy, resiliency, crisis intervention and victimology. He was trained in crisis intervention by the Pima County Attorney's Victim Witness program, and helped victims of crime cope with tragedies such as robberies, beatings, rapes and murders. In this capacity, he worked closely with police officers.
Kates is a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF), and is author of the book CopShock, Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), first and second editions, and co-author with Sharon Knutson-Felix of Gifts My Father Gave Me, Finding Joy After Tragedy, a book on grief, loss and healing. He has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing (MFAW), and is a writing coach, editor and writer who helps others succeed with their book manuscripts.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
I highly recommend this well-written, powerful book.
Sandra J Dixon
Allen Kate's book "Copshock" affected me on a visceral level unlike any book I have read.
Wendy Hammarstrom
The highest five rating to the book and to the author.
Gary Malmberg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andy O'Hara on August 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Allen Kates' second edition of CopShock brings it all together and is, without a doubt, one of the most valuable books available for police officers, families, suicide prevention personnel and veterans on the topic of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I encourage you to read it in its entirety, not just the new chapters--it's a treasure trove of information well worth re-reading.

For those who did not read the first edition, Kates is concise and to the point as he discusses what PTSD is and how it occurs from internalized reactions of horror to a critical incident or from an accumulation of events. The confusion into which officers are thrown in many situations is well laid out (the officer who "doesn't shoot" experiencing trauma like the officer who does, for example).

"What to Do About CopShock" remains a tremendously valuable chapter. Kates encourages officers to set up a support system before a critical incident occurs, which includes friends and family, peer counselors and therapists and support groups. "Preparing for the inevitable," says Kates, "puts officers in control during a period when control is sometimes taken away." This is life-saving advice. Along with sound observations and advice, he offers several excellent self-tests and evaluations and an extensive list of resources available to officers. Additionally, he points out that the exploring of early life events, prior to employment, can further aid them in coping with future incidents.

One important addition is a chapter on officers dealing with their 9/11 experiences, particularly cases in which the symptoms did not display for years after.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sandra J Dixon on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
As a Psychiatric Advance Practice Nurse, and author of a book on repressed memories as a result of sexual abuse, I work with PTSD victims and fully understand its implications. I have seen patients ravaged by the onslaught of flashbacks and nightmares. I've witnessed the life altering effects of exposure to horrific incidents. Unresolved cumulative trauma can lead to hopelessness, helplessness, depression and deep emotional pain. Many victims turn to alcohol, drugs and risky behavior to mask the lingering grief and despair.

I highly recommend this well-written, powerful book. CopShock is a must-read for mental health professionals, health care workers, police officers, fire fighters, emergency workers, and their families and friends. Allen Kates compelling, real-life stories, bring alive the accumulative effect of trauma that police officers encounter on the job, and the chaos and devastation it brings to many lives.

CopShock should be included in the training curriculum of law enforcement officers, fire-fighters, and emergency workers to arm them with the skills to ward off the downhill spiral from on-the-job stress, and to help the psychologically wounded recover. It also includes a comprehensive list of references for additional support.

Sandra Dixon, PMHCNS-BC, author of The Invisible Girl: Uncovering Repressed Memories of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Listed on
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Shannon H. Pennington on September 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
CopShock is not just for Law Enforcement Officers, but for all members of the Emergency Services including Fire Fighters and Emergency Medical personal. It goes beyond what you see on the news into the trauma that takes place every day on America's front lines. If you want to know what happens to our emergency services people, then have a read. It will keep you, from front to back, on the edge of your chair.

Author Allen R. Kates has done an exceptional job educating all of those who serve by shaping and defining the stories of those officers and firefighters wounded psychologically in the line of duty.

The story telling is in the words of the wounded warriors and includes an extensive network of references. The 6 self tests on conditions like depression, PTSD and panic are a "must" for those in service who are daily assaulted by traumatic stress exposure and traumatic stress wounding.

If you want to find a gift for someone you know who serves, then this book gets you pumped up about unlocking the mystery of PTSD and the effect it has on your inner workings.

For firefighters, the story of "Jimmy Brown" and his journey into and out of depression after 9/11 as a serving F.D.N.Y. Fire Fighter shows that you can find help.

The "backdraft" of feelings that goes with being a front line firefighter in the H.O.T. (Hazardous Overload of Thoughts) zone of the work you face daily can be overwhelming and confusing. When you open up the inch and a half between your head and your heart and do up your "Bunker Coat" you will find yourself reading "CopShock, Second Edition" more than one time and not be disappointed.

"CopShock, Second Edition" is written in common sense language.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gary Malmberg on October 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
This really is the definitive guide to police related PTSD at this time.
I was astonished at how well the book was able to pinpoint problems that I easily related to. I finally felt that someone understood my problems! That revalation cannot be understated. I also easily recognized how police work has affected so many of my friends and family. It was difficult reading in the sense that it woke me up in many ways to the depth of my problem. I had to read it in segments because my mind was racing over details that I had stuffed away for many years. It was difficult, but the payoff was enormous. You have to accept problems before you can heal them.
The Support Sources Index at the end of the book is a gold mine of information for professionals as well as for cops trying to find help.
I only wish CopShock had been available to me 28 years ago.
The highest five rating to the book and to the author.
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