1st Edition

South Africa’s High-Stress Security Environment Keys to Coping

By Gerhard Schoeman Copyright 2025
    137 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book presents valuable insights into the realities faced by security personnel as they deal with life-threatening situations in a high-stress security environment. The causes and consequences of stress are explored, followed by a comprehensive discussion of coping strategies and the negative consequences of not being able to cope effectively. In this book, a scientifically tested accessible model is also developed, which provides a visual overview of the stress management process and captures the flow between stressors, personality, and coping strategies.

    South Africa's High-Stress Security Environment is a helpful guide for anyone who wants to gain a wider understanding and appreciation of the challenges and the courage of security personnel – which we often take for granted.

    Print edition not for sale in Sub Saharan Africa.

    List of figures, tables and photos



    1. Introduction

    2. Day-to-day South Africa: A violent way of life

    3. The security industry in South Africa

    4. Understanding stress

    5. Stress at work and how it impacts on us

    6. Dealing with stress

    7. Personality and coping: Know thyself – the key

    8. Psychological resources and coping

    9. A model for coping with stress in the security industry

    10. The last word on stress and a way forward




    Gerhard Schoeman is a registered industrial psychologist in private practice with over three decades of experience. Having served in the South African Military Health Services, he has advised specialist groups such as VIP Protectors, the South African Air Force Task Force, OPS Medics and Nursing Staff on how to cope with stress. His experience includes consultation work for private security organisations within South Africa as well as for the Royal Swedish Airforce.