PEOPLE DEALING WITH VIOLENCE AND AGGRESSION MUST PERFORM UNDER PRESSURE

— Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) emerged out of an attempt to integrate the research on the role of cognitive and affective factors in coping processes with the emerging technology of cognitive behavior modification (Meichenbaum, 1977).   SIT has been employed to help individuals cope with the aftermath of exposure to stressful events (such as those where violence and aggression are present) and sometimes it has even been used on a preventative basis to “inoculate” individuals to future and ongoing stressors.   This is of particular importance if we are to overcome the natural responses people feel when faced with violence or aggression (i.e. a fight or flight reaction, neither of which might be the professional response we are looking for on PMVA training courses).

Having a focus on stress inoculation in PMVA training courses (as opposed to training which does not incorporate an understanding of stress and its effects on performance) is to enable a PMVA learner to maintain effective performance in a high stress operational context such as in a self-defence scenario, a physical intervention scenario or even a verbalisation/de-escalation scenario in which there is high risk.

Thought-leaders in the field of SIT recognise that the best way to design PMVA training courses is to look at the types of scenarios in which our trainees may be faced with a performance challenge, and then place those scenarios at the very centre of our PMVA training courses.  This ‘event-based training’ then becomes the focal point around which all the learning revolves.

An event is defined as:

“a specific task procedure with corresponding performance conditions.  Events may be discrete and singular or they may be multiple events connected into a series representing a longer scenario.  Events are defined to represent real world events and contextual demands.”

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