Term Paper: Jungian Phenomenology and Police Training the Methodologies

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Jungian Phenomenology and Police Training

The methodologies selected for this study were the meta-synthesis approach developed by Noblit and Hare (1988) and a content analysis technique described by Neuman (2003) and others. The meta-synthesis approach allows researchers to draw broad substantive interpretations from various sources. According to York (1994), the meta-synthesis technique is a type of research that "systematically compares studies in order to interpret meaning, to clarify research foci, and to resolve existing substantive, methodological, or interpretive problems" (p. xiii). This approach allows the researcher to "compare and analyze text, creating new interpretations in the process" (Noblit & Hare, 1988, p. 9).

The seven-step process used in the meta-synthesis methodology developed by Noblit and Hare is set forth in Table 1 below.

Table 1.

Noblit and Hare's Comparative Method.

Phase

Description

Phase 1

Getting started. This step involves finding an area of interest in need of synthesis.

Phase 2

Deciding what is relevant to the initial interest. This phase involves conducting a review of the material based on sample criteria.

Phase 3

Reading the interviews. This involves reading and re-reading the interviews and identifying interpretive metaphors in each.

Phase 4

Determine how the interviews are related. In this step, the interviews are "put together" and relationships between them forged. It is suggested that a list of key metaphors, phrases, ideas and concepts are made for each study. The metaphors are then compared and juxtaposed. Three different relationships are possible: a direct comparison using reciprocal translations; a refutational comparison where the content oppose each other; and a grouping of interviews that represent a line of argument.

Phase 5

Translating the interviews into one another. Simply stated, the metaphors and themes are compared with each other while leaving the central metaphors intact.

Phase 6

Synthesizing translations. This phase requires the researcher to make the parts of each interview into a whole through synthesis of the information.

Phase 7

Expressing the synthesis. The final step requires the researcher to write up and report the results.

Source: Noblit & Hare, 1988, pp. 26-29.

The focus of the interviews conducted for this study concerned a police crisis training module designed to improve officers' understanding of mental illness and how best to assess the needs of the mentally ill. The above steps were used to identify common natural meaning units concerning what the eighteen individual officers' experience were during and subsequent to their training, what aspects of the training initiative were regarded as being most valuable to them, and what aspects of the training could be improved. The results are presented in the form of word tables that are congruent with the American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual (5th ed) which states: Word tables present qualitative comparisons or descriptive information. For example, a word table can enable the reader to compare characteristics of studies in an article that reviews many studies, or it can present questions and responses from a survey or shown an outline of the elements of a theory. Word tables illustrate the discussion in the text" (p. 161). This same approach is used to develop appropriate summaries of relevant studies of personality development in the succeeding chapter.

In his text, Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches, Neuman (2003) reports that, "Content analysis is a technique for gathering and analyzing the content of text. The content refers to the words, meanings, pictures, symbols, ideas, themes, or any message that can be communicated" (p. 310). According to Gottschalk (1995), "The methods used in these content analysis studies range from simple counts of words, to counts of parts of speech, counts of classes of words, or counts of categories of subject matters" (p. 3). In some cases, such content analysis methods do not employ any specific counts as described above, but rather seek to identify recurring sequences of emotions or feelings, which they may or may not link up with changes in vocal qualities (paralanguage variables) or body movement (kinesic variables) (Gottschalk). Further, some content analysis methods ignore issues of the magnitude of any types of themes or subject matters while still other content analysis techniques focus on establishing a measure of the intensity or magnitude of a subject matter or psychological or behavioral dimension (Gottschalk). For the purposes of this analysis, both counts of words and counts of parts of speech were used to highlight recurring themes and issues of concern.

Recapitulation and summary of interview results.

Table ____.

Most valuable aspects of the training.

Interviewee

Observations/Comments

Key Metaphors and Themes

Better understanding of mental illness: I think if anything I've been better able to differentiate between what mental illnesses are amongst the people and who is a legitimate candidate and who is faking it because we have a lot of people that come into the system that are faking it. That's probably the biggest thing.

An example: Like a lot of homeless people, when they want somewhere to sleep, they'll try to get themselves into PES by saying that they are suicidal or whatever the case may be and now I just try to figure out what's going on in their head and what they need.

Field trips valuable:

1. I'd say that the dual diagnosis thing was definitely a key thing to learn about and the triple diagnosis as well because that's the thing that we as police officers tend to encounter more than the average Joe Shmoe going to see a shrink for the first time or the 8th time. So for us we deal a lot with the dual diagnosis, the drugs and the mental illness combined.... you can usually see it in their eyes more than anything else. Like when you're talking to them. You can actually see it in their eyes. There's just something that's just not right more than just being under the influence of drugs. A lot of it is just bizarre behavior. They jump out into the middle of the street or just random instances. We see them on the street and they are doing something funny so we stop them. Or else it's like calls that people are suicidal and they need police attention and you talk to them and you're like, OK there's something off with this person. That's usually it.

2. One of the best parts of the training was actually going out there and seeing these people that are in a somewhat clinical setting but not being a cop just being Joe Shmoe citizen walking in.

Improved understanding and recognition of legitimate mental illnesses.

Also intuitive aspects of real-world applications:.".. see it in their eyes."

Field trips were valuable addition to training.

The location it was given, it was great. The people that run it. Mike Sullivan is just, I personally like him. I think he's a dear man. He's really impassioned about what he's doing. But the training itself, the fact that they took us out in groups and took us to the different facilities where - you know I've driven by this facility a million times and never been in it. And so that was really good. To go to the diff facilities, see how they're run, see what the process is.

And even more important was having the people there that are suffering from some mental illnesses, sitting. We had a guy sit there and have lunch with us and to just be able to talk to someone like that and realize that they may be crazy but they're still - to have them articulate what goes on when they're in a crisis or having some sort of problem or just an ongoing thing - was really educational.

It was really enlightening and educational. So, that was the best part for me, was just talking to the people that are having some sort of clinical, or have life-long clinical problems.

Training was appropriate and timely: "Yes, I, I think the training was great and I know eventually all the patrol will be trained. Um, in SF we do have a major problem with the homeless/mentally ill and I think it goes both ways."

Identified alternate approaches: "I learned from the class. I'm more into using MC or contacting mobile crisis, something I've learned and passing it off."

You have to begin thinking new strategies and new ways to approach them and to handle the issue, which is, essentially, getting them to a position where they can even be taken for a mental health observation - 5150 or 5250, if it's serious enough. or, if there has been a crime committed by them, then it become's also, there's a criminal issue is involved and we then have to get a look at that as well."

And, so one of the benefits of the class was looking at the way we approach people with these kind of mental issues, from a different perspective.

Development of empathy: "One of the benefits of the class, that I learned, and not only from the instructors, but also from some of the patients… [END OF PREVIEW]

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