Trauma Response Profile: James T. Reese, Ph.D., BCETS, FAAETS

Joseph S. Volpe, Ph.D., B.C.E.T.S., F.A.A.E.T.S.
Director, Professional Development Editor, Trauma Response®

Dr. James T. Reese is an internationally recognized author, lecturer, and consultant in the areas of stress management, motivation, threat and risk assessments, and workplace violence. He has authored and co-edited seven books and is an editor for the new Journal of Threat Assessment. He has addressed representatives of more than 300 Fortune 500 companies, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, and other businesses. A former Lieutenant and decorated combat veteran of Vietnam, he served as an FBI Agent for 25 years retiring in 1995 as the Assistant Unit Chief of the Behavioral Science Unit, FBI Academy. For 18 years he taught stress management, criminology, abnormal psychology and profiling and was adjunct faculty with the University of Virginia. During his assignment to the FBI Academy, he also profiled criminal matters (a "Mind Hunter" as portrayed by Psychology Today). Dr. Reese has provided expert testimony before the United States Congress on Stress and addressed President George Bush's Council on Integrity and Efficiency. He serves as the Director of Violence Prevention for the Crisis Care Network, Inc. He is president of James T. Reese and Associates, an international behavioral sciences and management-consulting firm headquartered in Lake Ridge, Virginia, USA. He has addressed audiences and consulted throughout the world. He is Board Certified in Domestic Violence, Stress Management, School Crisis Response, Emergency Crisis Response, and Traumatic Stress. His video is entitled "Dr. Jim Reese on Integrity and Courage" and his audiocassette series is entitled "Six Keys to Stress-Free Living™". Dr. Reese is a Fellow of The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and the Academy is privileged to have him serve on the Board of Scientific & Professional Advisors.

JSV: You keep quite busy as a lecturer, consultant and author. Can you tell me about the various roles and/or positions that you currently hold?

JTR: Yes, fortunately I do keep very busy. As you may recall, I returned your call about this interview from the Hawaiian Islands. Last year also took my company to Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, and Europe as well as more than 25 states. I am the sole proprietor of James T. Reese and Associates and James T. Reese European Associates. We are an international behavioral sciences and management consulting firm serving both government and private industry on a wide array of topics including workplace violence, stress management, executive stress, ethics-based leadership, motivational keynotes and more. Aside from keynote presentations, criminal profiling, and corporate and law enforcement training, my time is spent consulting with organizations and corporations regarding workplace violence issues, from policy and procedure development to assisting in the termination of employees. Time is also spent doing assessments, or profiles, of employees whose behavior is threatening, harassing, or violent. I have spoken to audiences on a wide range of topics, to include school violence at state superintendents conferences, domestic violence at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, "Six Keys to Stress Free Living"
at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and the Tropicana in Atlantic City. I have also provided expert testimony on law enforcement stress before the United States Congress, and addressed President George Bush's Council on Integrity and efficiency. In addition to this, James T. Reese and Associates was chosen by the Crisis Care Network, Inc., Grand Rapids, Michigan (888-736-0911) to direct their violence prevention program. Lyle Labardee, A.A.E.T.S., their CEO, has created the country's leading, nationwide private sector provider of on-site response to violence and traumatic workplace incidents, currently serving over 2,500 companies. In that capacity, I share a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week call center (hot line), answered by Masters level clinicians. I am also in the process of contracting with additional corporations regarding an ongoing consulting relationship with regards to stress management, threat assessments and workplace violence issues. All of the above grew out of experiences and knowledge I was able to gain during my 25 years as an FBI Agent.

JSV: I understand that you are a founding member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. How did this program develop?

JTR: I was an Agent in the Behavioral Science Unit and was therefore invited to be one of the founders of the FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime. This was a team effort put together by the professional support persons and Agents assigned to the Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI's Academy in Quantico, VA. For years we had been accepting "qualified" homicide cases, serial rapes, and other crimes from law enforcement for the purposes of "profiling." Among the purposes for the National Center was to provide order and structure to the process and insure that we gained the maximum benefits from the information obtained. It is still in place and the men and women of the FBI are still in the trenches, working day in and day out to solve the most bizarre crimes of the century, as well as the every day homicides that plague this nation. These are really talented and dedicated people, both agents and professional support personnel, who endure the images of death daily in an effort to solve crimes and put criminals where they can no longer harm anyone. I was pleased to have co-authored the first article on profiling in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin entitled "A Psychological Assessment of Crime: Profiling" (Ault and Reese, 1980). This was an attempt to let people know what profiling was all about. The process has become much more sophisticated and now there are people in the FBI whose job is dedicated solely to receiving these unsolved crimes from law enforcement and attempting to profile them. These are typically serial crimes, bizarre homicide cases, child abductions, and the like. There are requirements concerning the cases the FBI will accept for profiling. This is due to the volume of crime that exists. The FBI's Training Division at Quantico is in the best position to provide details concerning that criterion.

JSV: For 25 years, you served as a Special Agent of the FBI and ultimately became the Assistant Unit Chief of the prestigious Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. How did you become involved with the FBI?

JTR: It was 1971. Vietnam was behind me. I had graduated from Arkansas State University in 1968 with a Bachelors Degree in Social Science. My first set of military orders following my graduation and subsequent commission as an officer in the Army made it clear that I would be spending a year in Vietnam. I arrived in Vietnam in April of 1969 and served in the Mekong Delta. Little did I know that this would be my first encounter in a long line of stress-related encounters that would shape my professional career and my life. More than 100 ambushes and dozens of helicopter assaults later, I left the Republic of South Vietnam. Upon my return to the United States, I was determined to never work again for anyone who told me what to do, what to wear, or how to act. That determination didn't last long. The country, and J. Edgar Hoover, needed FBI Agents! My brother, Ron, had just ended his tour as an officer in the United States Navy and was accepted by the FBI as an Agent. He encouraged me to apply prior to my discharge from the Army. I applied and the rest is history. The FBI, like any job, had its ups and downs. One of the more humorous, and subsequently memorable, events during my early career involved efforts to respond to my first bank robbery. The Bureau car radio squawked "All units, we have a bank robbery in progress", and the address was given. My first FBI car was a 1968, two-toned green, Rambler. It was equipped with a portable, hand-held magnetic "Kojak" light. In attempting to get to the bank quickly, I was unable to get it to stay on top of the vinyl roof. I thought I was in a cartoon. I questioned the Bureau's attention to details.

As early as 1974 I knew that I wanted to be a faculty member at the FBI Academy; to have a voice in training this nation's law enforcement elite; to learn the skills of a profiler and make a difference in the world. I earned a Masters Degree in 1976 at American International College as I worked as an FBI Resident Agent in Springfield, Massachusetts and was transferred to the FBI Academy as an instructor in the Behavioral Science Unit in 1978. I would remain there for 18 years until my retirement in 1995. During that time, I was accepted into the doctoral program at The American University and, going to school at night, earned a Ph.D. in 1987.

JSV: What is a Criminal Personality Profiler? In that capacity, are there any cases that stand out in your memory? What were your connections with the film The Silence of the Lambs and the title "Mind Hunter"?

JTR: On the latter point, the movie The Silence of the Lambs was filmed, in part, in the Behavioral Sciences Unit and other locations at the FBI Academy. The writers, producers, and directors apparently sought information, academy props, and advice to make the movie realistic. It was based on what criminal profilers were doing. That is where the behavioral science unit portion of the film was developed with "Hannibal Lechter" as the focus. The name "Mind Hunters" was given to us by Psychology Today magazine. They had written an article about those of us who made up the profiling section at the time. The article featured a "centerfold" photograph and it featured me and the other profilers. We were all sitting around a desk as if we were examining photographs of a crime scene. Across the top of the picture was the title "Mind Hunters." The article was about those of us in the Behavioral Science Unit who were doing profiling. The FBI has made great strides in their knowledge of criminal behavior and criminal profiling since that article, and since I left in 1995.

With regard to profiling, there are certain clues at a crime scene, which, by their very nature, do not lend themselves to being collected or examined. How does one collect love, rage, hatred, fear, jealousy, irrationality, or other intangibles? Clues left at a crime scene may be of inestimable value in leading to the solution of a crime; however, they are not necessarily items of physical evidence, per se. While these items may be present at a crime scene, the untrained eye will inevitably miss them. Nothing can take the place of a well-executed investigation; however, the use of psychology to assist in the assessment of a crime is an additional tool, which the law enforcement officer should use in solving crimes. The purpose of the psychological assessment of a crime scene is to produce a profile; that is, to identify and interpret certain items of evidence at the crime scene which would be indicative of the personality type of the individual or individuals committing the crime. As Webster would say, "It is a short, vivid biography briefly outlining the most outstanding characteristics of the subject." The goal of the profiler is to provide enough information to investigators to enable them to limit or better direct their investigations. For example, in one case, a profile provided enough information that officers recalled an individual whom they had already questioned that fit the profile description. When they returned to the individual, he confessed. It should be noted that, in this particular case, we assisted in providing interview techniques.

During one particular summer, a woman in a suburban city on the east coast reported to the police that she had been raped. After learning the facts of this case, the investigating officer realized this was the seventh rape within the past two years wherein the same modus operandi was used. There were no investigative leads remaining and no suspects. The incidents reports of each of the rapes, together with transcripts of the interviews of the victims were brought to the Behavioral Science Unit where I looked them over. Between what I discovered in the reports and the assistance of others in the unit, it was determined that the rapes were probably committed by the same person and described him as a white male, 25 to 35 years of age, divorced or separated and working at a marginally skilled job, high school education, poor self-image, living in the immediate area of the rapes, and as being involved in acts of voyeurism ("Peeping Tom"). It was likely that the police had spoken to this man in that many times these types of "prowlers" are questioned by police and released. Based upon the FBI information, 40 suspects were developed in the neighborhood. They narrowed their investigation to one and focused on him. He was arrested within the week. You can't look at an entire population. We try to narrow the suspects down. Lives can be saved.

During 1979, I was assigned to teach a homicide/profiling school near Newport News, VA. After teaching all-day and retiring for the night, the phone rang about 11:00pm. It was the deputy chief of the Newport News Police Department, a man who had, ironically, been a student in my class that day. He reported that the body of a young woman had been found in a motel room in Newport News. She had been shot in the stomach with a high-powered rifle. The body was handcuffed (apparently post-mortem) and the door to the motel room where she was found was barricaded from the inside. There appeared to be no evidence of robbery, sexual assault, or other motive. She was a manager in housekeeping and apparently surprised the murderer when she entered the room. The murderer had escaped through a rear bathroom window and fled into the woods behind the motel. Prior to my involvement in the case, a police officer and his police dog were sent into the woods to flush out the murderer. The murderer confronted them at gunpoint and ordered them out of the woods. They immediately left the woods and are lucky to be with us today. I was taken to the scene and asked to do a profile or assessment of the subject. I had been teaching the Deputy Chief that day about homicides and people who keep diaries and the like. The subject had left a diary and a sea bag full of clothes at the motel room. The diaries provided psycholinguistic clues concerning the subject's personality. I decided that it was not a good idea to go into the woods at night. The subject either is or was a Marine and probably mentally ill. While not qualified to diagnose, we believed him to be paranoid schizophrenic based upon the writings found in the diaries in his sea bag. We learned early on however, to not label people with mental health terms. Therefore, our profiles simply described the individuals and their expected behavior. I suggested to the police to wait for the first light of the morning to enter the woods. I emphasized that they should continue during the night to call him out with bullhorns but that he would not surrender. He did not. Someone suggested lighting up the area with helicopters. I recommended that they not do that due to his paranoia and delusional thinking about Vietnam. At approximately 5:45am, a SWAT team entered the woods. They got within 50 feet of the subject who stood up and fired on them. The subject was shot and died after about 30 days hospitalization. He was a former marine, he had dug about 6 foxholes, had 351 rounds of ammunition for his rifle, and was in full marine corps gear; helmet, flack jacket, web belt, canteen, the works. The profile worked and perhaps some officers are alive today because of it.

JSV: I know, Jim, that personality profiling has gained a presence in many school districts around the country.

JTR: Yes, Joe, and I have had the pleasure of addressing many of the school systems. I try, as many others do, to help teachers, administrators, and students understand the phenomena of violence, the appropriate policies to put in place and the procedures to deal with violent, or potential violent, acts. Unfortunately, more security cameras cannot solve the problem. While the idea of surveillance is important, it may simply be a means to document that which occurs rather than prevent the occurrence. A combination of physical security and mental preparedness is essential. It is important to note, however, that many students match any given "profile" at any given time. The key is to not pigeonhole or categorically suspect someone of wrongdoing simply because of a profile. A profile, historically, has been a set of characteristics and behaviors of someone who is unknown, versus an "assessment" of someone who is known. Much in the same way investigative hypnosis can be used as an investigative tool, so too, profiling should be used as only a tool and considered in light of other pieces of information (especially in schools). Some of the early warning signs of potential violence in children, which would be added to any given profile, may include continued problem behavior, comments regarding problems in their family or dysfunction within the family, implied and/or verbal threats to other students and faculty, continual tardiness and an increase of absences, changes in "normal" behavior patterns, withdrawal, and other indicators, to include a perceived reduction in self worth. By the way, I think that the Academy should be very proud of the advancements made in the area of school crisis response. The Academy is a leader in the provision of information concerning school crisis intervention from what I can see with your publication (Dr. Reese is referring to A Practical Guide for Crisis Response in Our Schools: Fourth Edition recently published by the Academy).

JSV: As you are aware, The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress is a multidisciplinary network of professionals representing over 200 professions in the health-related fields, emergency services, criminal justice, forensics, law, business and education. Many of our organization's members must respond on the "front lines" of risk and danger as a part of their occupation. Are there unique stressors associated with working for the FBI?

JTR: Yes, there are unique stress factors working for the FBI, or any emergency service provider for that matter. While it has always been considered one of the most stressful occupations in the world, law enforcement doesn't hold the copyright on stress, nor has it been universally and empirically proven to be the most stressful occupation in the world. The uniqueness of the stress in police work, as well as in the FBI, revolves around the responsibility for people, the dangers associated with the job, the long, irregular hours, the pressures placed upon the employees to perform at their maximum capacity 24-hours a day, and the need to control their emotions on a full-time basis. I call this "Image Armor", the need to always look in control. Among other issues leading to stress is the uniqueness of emergency service personnel. For example, we are very authoritative, we are risk-takers, we never make mistakes, we are hypervigilant, cynical, suspicious, pessimistic, have negative attitudes about people, rarely talk about our feelings to others and are always looking for action. Add to that the fact that we seem to be less willing to socialize and one can readily see how this impacts upon us as individuals as well as our support system.

JSV: What factors led to your development of the FBI's Stress Management Program and Psychological Services Program?

JTR: I am pleased to say that I was chosen to monitor the FBI Psychological Services Program when it began in 1980. I piloted the program when the FBI hired its first psychiatrist. Today, the FBI has an Employee Assistance Unit with trained Employee Assistance Coordinators (FBI employees) in every field office in the FBI, a Psychological Services Program and a Critical Incident program where employees involved in critical incidents go to the Academy at Quantico to attend an in-service program, which offers assistance to them. The attendees ultimately can learn to assist others as peer support employees. I am also proud to say that I was just asked to speak at the next national meeting of the FBI's Employee Assistance Program. I hope they will always feel free to call on me. They have really done more with that program than I ever imagined. They should all be very proud of their accomplishments. It ranks as one of the best Employee Assistance Programs in the worldwide law enforcement community. It should also be recognized and understood that these people are trying to provide emotional and psychological support, not to just a city or a department, but to thousands of employees, from our field offices in the United States to the many legal attaches located throughout the world. They have the full support of the Director of the FBI and that will help to insure the ongoing success of the program. Any program without that level of support is doomed to fail.

I assisted in developing the overall stress management program as a result of my exposure to seeing death and dying through profiling on a day-to-day basis and experiencing the interruptions this job presents to families. In August of 1979, I was to learn how important a support system was to this profession. One particular evening, my wife, Sandy and our (then two-and-a-half year old) daughter, Jamie and I were preparing to go out shopping. I can still picture my wife, putting a jacket on my daughter, when our phone rang. It was the office of an Executive Director of the FBI. There had been a commercial airline hijacking at SeaTac (Seattle Tacoma International Airport). Headquarters wanted some behavioral scientists, "profilers" to go to the command center in Washington, DC to assist in appraising the subject and the situation. It was stated that he had a bomb in his briefcase and was holding 55 people on the commercial jet, hostage. The plane was on the tarmac. Two other profilers were also called and met me in Washington DC at FBI Headquarters. The hijacker's demands were $100,000, a parachute and the jet. We worked with Seattle PD SWAT, the Port Authority, FBI SWAT, local and state police, and the FBI negotiator throughout the night. It ended about 3am with the hijacker settling for a "rental car and a cheeseburger". As he deplaned to get the car he had demanded, FBI SWAT members, hidden under the plane, apprehended him and his briefcase. We had earlier predicted that there was no bomb. There was no bomb found. We went home to sleeping families. He went to jail, only to be released at a later date to be killed in the commission of another commercial airline hijacking.

In 1980, I traveled to Jacksonville, Florida with another agent to teach an advanced criminology school. During the week we were there, we arranged to interview Arthur Frederick Goode, III. Goode was a convicted child abductor / killer who was incarcerated at Raeford State Prison in Starkville, Florida awaiting execution. We interviewed him for six hours about his homosexual, homicidal behaviors with his victims. He would kidnap young, 12 years old or so, force them to engage in sexual behaviors and then murder them. He would then write disgustingly descriptive letters to their parents, describing what he did to their children. We were talking to him to try to learn more about men who do these types of crimes. While I didn't expect to see any remorse, what I did see surprised me. A cold, calculated response to even the most sensitive questions regarding the murders. Upon leaving the cell, Goode reinforced what we knew about psychopathic behavior. In an effort to assert his ego and recapture control at the last minute, he asked us (with a grin on his face) as we left death row, "Do you have any little boys at home?" In law enforcement, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to do nothing. Contrary to the thoughts that were running through my head at the time, all I could do was leave. That is the type of stress you take home with you.

There was one particularly stressful occasion when I was profiling a case in which all of the children in a family were killed. Each was shot gunned in the face in their beds. In an effort to come up with a profile, I and a few other agents spent an inordinate amount of time staring at the photos of these "faceless" children. A few nights later, I walked into my daughter's room to tuck her in bed. She was lying in bed with her back to me. I couldn't leave the room. I had to walk around her bed to make sure she was all right. In law enforcement, this is referred to as "vicarious victimization." It was based upon that type of occurrence, and the stories told to me by other profilers and police officers regarding stress, that encouraged me to accept an invitation to write a chapter in a book by another former FBI Agent / profiler, Robert "Roy"' Hazelwood. His co-edited book is entitled Practical Aspects of Rape Investigation: A Multidisciplinary Approach, and my chapter is entitled "Rape Investigators: Vicarious Victims." Trauma response providers (e.g., many of the members of the A.A.E.T.S.) know that one can only experience so much of this stimuli without eventually incorporating some of it into one's life. Such vicarious victimization led me, and my colleagues, to develop the stress management program. I ultimately helped develop post-critical incident policies in England and Northern Ireland, and I continue, today, to build stress management programs for corporations, law enforcement, and a variety of organizations.

JSV: I understand that you have lectured to several hundred Fortune 500 companies. Some of the topics that you have presented include "6 Keys to Stress-free Living," "Stress Management - Facing the Millennium," "Workplace Violence/Wellness" and "The Greatest Difficulty in Life - Choice." What made you focus on these areas and how have they been received by your audiences?

JTR: I believe that if you are not in control of your life then something else is. These topics you just spoke of are always received with the same enthusiasm with which I deliver them. I truly believe that these principles work. I receive letters and emails almost on a daily basis in which someone expresses gratitude for the message. I try to emphasize the need for balance. It is important for one to do one's job well. Also, it is important to "get a life." I emphasize the need for balance in spiritual, familial, personal, and occupational endeavors. I have lectured on executive stress management to representatives of more than 300 Fortune 500 companies. I recently spoke to the second most powerful executive in one of the world's five largest corporations regarding controlling corporate stress both among executives and other employees. I have had the pleasure of addressing members of the National Football League as well as presenting at the NATO Advanced Studies Institute in Sciathos, Greece, and the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Belfast. From chief executives, to plant foreman, to rank and file, there is no audience on this planet that does not relate to the stress of everyday existence. I consider it my job, as well as a privilege, to provide people with tools to cope with the stress and remind them of the joys in life. Without exception, corporate employees, firefighters, and law enforcement officers alike report that their job satisfaction improves, their production increases and their home life takes on a new and more meaningful purpose. It is a great message for the corporate world as we tackle the challenges of the new millennium and…it decreases workplace violence!

JSV: You have become a Fellow of The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress as well as Board Certified by the Academy in Emergency Crisis Response, Domestic Violence and Stress Management. What made you pursue these credentials offered through the Academy=s Board Certification Programs in traumatic stress specialties?

JTR: I pursued earning the credentials of the A.A.E.T.S. because it was the first, and perhaps only, professional organization that was more "inclusive" than "exclusive." Most groups are trying to find reasons to keep you out. This organization is quite obviously the opposite. It seeks to find those who are in the business of helping others and providing them with credentials and support that they could not find elsewhere. Also, my clients have the right to believe that a competent authority has examined my background and activities and have decided my credentials demonstrate expertise in a particular discipline. Anyone can call himself or herself an expert. The A.A.E.T.S. asks their membership to provide details to support this claim and then they either agree or disagree. It is not a rubber stamp process. Fortunately, the Academy has examined my credentials and approved several board certifications. I enjoy the relationship with the A.A.E.T.S. and have encouraged many to apply for membership.

JSV: Tell me about Worlds at War, Minds at Peace. What motivated you to develop this publication?

JTR: My upcoming book, Worlds at War, Minds at Peace, is still in the editing stage. Due to the demands placed upon my company regarding violence in the workplace and stress management, I have not been able to bring it to a conclusion. In that publication, I talk about stress and stress management from things I had experienced including combat in Vietnam and my FBI work. Perhaps within this year it will be complete. Aside from the book, there is currently a video that is obtainable and being used in many law enforcement agencies and critical incident stress management teams. It is entitled "Dr. Jim Reese on Integrity and Courage" (410) 740-0065. However, my hopes of helping people manage stress are riding high on the soon to be released audiocassette signature series tapes and workbook entitled "Six Keys to Stress-Free Living: A Guide to Recapturing Control of Your Life™" (800) 425-0308. This is being produced by Shield International, Provo, Utah and will be ready for release within the next 60 days. My products and publications will also eventually be available on my website at In this new audiotape series, I explore the unique challenges we face each day in our jobs, families, and in our stress-filled society. The six keys offer significant insights into the causes and signs of stress and the challenges associated with a stress-filled life. In the tapes, I provide practical and motivational strategies for combating stress, dealing effectively with change and moving toward stress-free living. The books that I had written or co-edited while in the FBI are currently out of print. I am hopeful that the FBI will see fit to continue to make them available due to the wealth of information which all of the authors of the chapters provided. They have been the foundations of law enforcement psychology since the first was published in 1986. It seems wrong to keep this information from those who could use it. It would appear that the information was valuable before, and is no less valuable now. I am continually asked how copies can be obtained. Perhaps at some point the government will see fit to continue to provide the information in these books to those who could use it. For those who are interested, the books are Psychological Services for Law Enforcement (Reese & Goldstein, 1986); Police Psychology: Operational Assistance (Reese and Horn, 1988); Critical Incidents in Policing (Reese, Horn, & Dunning, 1991); Law Enforcement Families: Issues and Answers (Reese & Scrivner, 1994); and Organizational Issues (Reese & Solomon, 1995). I also wrote the first and most complete History of Psychological Services in Law Enforcement Organizations in the United States, (Reese, 1987).

JSV: As you are aware, The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress recognizes that traumatic events are an unfortunate part of the human experience that professionals and workers from many fields work with on a regular basis. What do you see as the major advantage of an organization such as the Academy that is dedicated to increasing awareness and, ultimately, improving the quality of intervention with survivors of such events across such an eclectic group?

JTR: I asked myself that question when I joined A.A.E.T.S. When you, Joe, first approached me some years ago, to become a member of this fine organization, I realized that there needed to be some standardization. There has to be some place to go to obtain information, share information and network with others in a multidisciplinary fashion. When I look at your board of advisors and your membership, the only word that comes to mind is "eclectic" and the organization has certainly covered all the bases. Based upon the unfortunate trauma that humans experience, the organization has increased awareness (this can be seen by the academy's growing, diverse membership). The membership genuinely shows concern for victims and because of this, victim providers benefit on an international level. Also, your publication, Trauma Response® is outstanding and I believe that every one of your members always looks forward to receiving it in the mail.

JSV: As an esteemed member of the Board of Scientific and Professional Advisors of The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, are there any suggestions or concluding comments that you could offer with regard to helping survivors of traumatic stress?

JTR: The greatest assets of any trauma response provider seem to be those of understanding, caring, relating on a realistic level and availability. I have found that in the emergency services, especially law enforcement since that is my background, the one item they must have in their lives is control. Traumatic incidents tend to take that control from them. Responders can't control events or many of the outcomes of events but they absolutely must control their emotions. I try to let survivors know exactly why I am there, what the purpose of our time together is, what they can expect, and a fairly good idea of what I will be asking them about. Many have told me that this approach has given them a sense of immediate control and has helped stabilize them. They do not want to be examined or studied. They do not want to sit, patiently waiting for a "loaded" question about their feelings. They simply want to be able to express their feelings in a confidential environment where they are not ashamed or embarrassed and in a setting where they do not risk losing status. This may be the most important qualifier for many who seek help. Add to this their need to believe that you are actually in a position to help them, not just another person to tell their story to. Here, the Six Keys to Stress-Free Living™ are alive and well: challenge, choice, change, courage, control, and commitment. Together, these six keys are some of the greatest tools available to assist survivors of traumatic stress.

JSV: Tell me about the international behavioral sciences and management consulting firm, "James T. Reese and Associates" and the Professional Speaker's Consortium. Can you provide contact information for our members?

JTR: James T. Reese and Associates can be contacted at 3262 Chancellor Drive, Lake Ridge, VA USA 22192-3357 or via our website at Our telephone number is 703-551-4101 or fax us at 703-494-8934. We provide motivational keynotes, lectures, and workshops together with seminars on stress management, leadership, anger management, burnout prevention, team building, mentoring, workplace violence prevention and more. Our services also range from walking a potentially dangerous person or employee out of a building following a threat, to assisting in the assessment of behavior and the construction of separation agreements. This type of assistance was just provided to a Midwest Fortune 500 company that employed a person who vowed to "come back and kill all the women." I was contracted to be on site and this matter was resolved safely with all parties satisfied that justice had been served (including the subject). We also create custom-made, client-centered zero tolerance policies for violence in the workplace, as well as procedures to consistently and legally enforce such a policies (as we recently prepared for a government agency, to include its thousands of employees and hundreds of buildings). Moreover, James T. Reese and Associates has been in business since 1995, incorporating 27 years of previous experience. We enjoy what we do and believe that we are helping increase the quality of people's lives, while increasing the corporate bottom line. I hope some of your readers will contact us to discuss the possibility of serving them. We are excited about the future and we continue to provide additional services as our clientele expands and their needs diversify.

The Professional Speaker's Consortium has been in existence for about a year. It allows James T. Reese and Associates to provide speakers, presenters, seminar leaders, and consultants on a wide range of topics. These are individuals who have voiced an interest in working with James T. Reese and Associates and who have demonstrated the skills necessary to be the very best in the business at what they do. Our experts include corporate executives, former military leaders, authors, police, firefighters, human resource administrators, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, employee assistance professionals, and many other disciplines. If you're looking for a speaker, call us.

JSV: Jim, you have given our members some very interesting things to think about. The Academy is glad to have you aboard.

JTR: Joe, the pleasure is mine. I am extremely honored to have been interviewed for Trauma Response® and am proud to be a member of the Academy.