Book Review: The Rite of Return: Coming Back From Duty Induced PTSD


This book "The Rite of Return: Coming Back From Duty Induced PTSD" by Karen Lansing, aka: "The Cop Whisper" is an outstanding resource on PTSD. The book talks about the causes and effects of PTSD and the most recent research in helping those with PTSD get back home learn to cope and lead normal lives. Karen writes in a way that makes this difficult topic easy to understand as she discusses the causes and effects through real life examples. Karen takes a very candid approach towards this topic as she discusses "the job" and a very important place Karen calls "the man cave" which is the practice of men to isolate and withdraw from others when enduring difficult emotional times...i.e. women talk, men walk away." I have seen this phenomenon manifest itself in us cops over the years as we attempt to deal with traumatic situations by burying or attempting to bury the memories to ugly to think about. Reminds me of a quote I never forgot from Col Dave Grossman “You’re only as sick as your secrets.” I am not trying to simplify Karen’s work but sometimes simply talking about the ugly we see, frees us from its stress and anxiety.

In policing sometimes we not only respond to violence to pick up the pieces and render aid. If not traumatic enough on rare occasions we in law enforcement in our efforts to protect and serve have to take the most extreme action and take another’s life. Karen’s book has a chapter on this as well in chapter 8 “The Cost of the Kill.” In this chapter she discusses the uniqueness of individual cops and every shooting has its own uniqueness as well. She does an outstanding job of breaking down the post-killing stages.

I have read a lot on this topic and found Karen's book to be one of the best on the topic. I highly recommend you read this book!

Stay Oriented!
Fred