We've talked about this before, but it is always great to hear it straight from Dr. Alexis Artwohl, as she has a great way of explaining these physiological and psychological issues that we may experience in the aftermath of a self defense shooting. Dr. Alexis Artwohl is a behavioral science consultant and former police psychologist. She is the author of DEADLY FORCE ENCOUNTERS, a science based guide for police officers and their families on how to prepare for and cope with the aftermath of a violent encounter.
In the immediate aftermath of a critical self defense incident, or any critical incident, it's very normal for people to think about what happened, and play that over in your mind, however, sometimes people get stuck there. Second guessing is really irrational, and when people do get stuck in intense second guessing, it's usually about things that they couldn't change, or had no control over. At some point, you have to move on, and accept the facts of what occurred, or you will start experiencing guilt, loss of confidence, or other feelings that can cause greater problems.
Second guessing is very important to remember during any interviews if you are involved in a self defense shooting or lethal self defense incident. You will need to be aware of second guessing, and try to keep your testimony to the relevant facts of the case. Understand the emotional impact of second guessing, and remember that during an interview, that is not the place or time to express what you could have done, or maybe should have done differently.
Psychotherapy with a trauma incident specialist can be a good idea, at least one session, where you can have a safe and confidential place to work your way through any second guessing or other emotional issues that you may experience. It is always good to have an attorney involved if you are being interviewed for a lethal self defense incident.
Stay tuned for more videos in this series coming soon!
Alexis Artwohl, Ph.D.
Alexis Artwohl, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized behavioral science consultant to law enforcement as a trainer, researcher, and author. She is a panel advisor for CCW Safe in the area of behavioral science.