|Date published:||27 Sep 2018|
The position of this paper is that psychologists have a role of mental health consultation and bigger consultation role at the situation of the hostage. Over the past few decades, there has been a record of increased hostage incidents involving perpetrators with a variety of motives which include economic and political. According to this paper, psychological knowledge has proven to be of great value considering the way one is supposed to deal with the subject of hostage negotiations. This article explain that psychological knowledge also helps to guide the negotiator on the steps that should be undertaken in order to negotiate with hostage takers and the required steps to go about the negotiation. The incident of hostage can be referred to a case where a perpetrator holds one or more individuals against their desires in places known to police. Around 25 years ago, policies of hostage or crisis negotiations were developed and they are being used continuously in field application. According to this article, there are less than 25% incidents that have been resolved and nobody is killed in cases of law enforcement on serious incidents. This article also explains that the negotiators ought to be in a position to direct the subjects who will express their perspectives into stating clearly the idea of their doubts and difficulties and speaking up their requests and demands to make work easier for the law enforcers to address them. In the United States the negotiator must be able to withstand any form of deployment that is extended to complex as well as demanding situations and incidences. The position of this article is therefore, clear that the psychological principles have enabled the police to employ active techniques for listening, maintain an approach that is open minded as well as create a rapport that can influence the counterparts of an individual.
Involvement of psychologists in the police department has increased significantly over the past two decades. This is considering the fact that psychology plays a very important in cases of the hostage in matters of negotiation. Development of psychological negotiation strategies is a key factor that should be considered in regard to the dynamic nature of hostage incidents that have been happening in the world in the past three decades. Understanding motivation and goals of the situation must be put into consideration before developing the required negotiation strategies. Taking a little bit some time is also important in order to give space for the highly emotional states and give time for informed decisions on how to intervene the strategies. This also allows the security departments to obtain adequate resources, and give chance on gathering any background information on the matter. In this case, the most important point is allowing the relationship between the hostage-takers time to develop. Therefore, development of negotiation strategies in cases of hostage and crisis is very important to the negotiator as the way of protecting the captives.
The psychological knowledge has proven to be of great value considering the way one is supposed to deal with the subject of hostage negotiations. It has also been discovered that those individuals who are specialized in these areas are gaining rapid acceptance in most of the hostage cases. Therefore, the role played by the psychologist in hostage negotiation is very clear to all individuals. Researchers have defined that the crucial role of the psychologists is balancing the mental status of the hostage-takers and the best direction to address them in order to ensure that the mission of protecting the hostages is successful Strentz, (2011). However, it is important to understand that there has been no universal agreement between mental health specialists on the importance of consulting the hostage-taker. Their doubts have been considering the fact that psychologists don’t have a lot of experience compared to anybody else in situations of hostage and it might be a way of confusion if they can be trusted when they claim that hostage negotiation is part of their profession. Moreover, they claim that the role of psychologists in cases of hostage have been ignored despite the fact that there has been the continued training of negotiators more especially in New York. Though it is of great significance to understand that the role psychology is mainly to make the police understand the personalities of the hostage-takers which is very important in cases of hostage and crisis intervention.
The position of this paper is that psychologists have a role of mental health consultation and bigger consultation role at the situation of the hostage. According to research, the psychological knowledge not only helps at the time of hostage incident but also they have enough knowledge that can be used to train negotiators in order to deal with cases of hostage and crisis intervention. In addition, it is important to understand that negotiating with hostage takers is all about psychology and those who are in most cases successful in the process are psychologists who are very experienced Lynch, (2012). Considering the scenario of a typical hostage, lives of the captives are at pending chances of violent death at the hands of the hostage taker which normally takes place in the uncontrolled environment. Situations of hostage can take hours, days or weeks of intense negotiation and these cases require skilled negotiators in order to save the captives from the hands of the hostage-takers hence psychology will be great role when considering such situations. In fact, according to studies and records, it is very clear that negotiation yield 90% success in resolving hostage crisis without any one among the hostages being injured by the hostage takers and this is a remarkable condition considering life-saving intervention of crisis strategy.
Psychological knowledge also helps to guide the negotiator on the steps that should be undertaken in order to negotiate with hostage takers and the required steps to go about the negotiation. This steps include reducing background distractions to ensure clarity of the communication, introducing yourself clearly and tell them the reason why you are calling, address them using “sir” or “madam” since in most cases you will not be aware of their names and most important monitor your tone to set a mature conversation between yourself and them. This is very important in hostage situations since the main goal of hostage negotiation is to maintain verbal strategies and utilize time in order to control the emotions of the hostage takers and make ensure that there is increased rationality. The intention is to make sure the hostages are saved without any injuries and if possible the hostage takers are arrested in a non-violent way, this situation will only work if psychological knowledge is applied in such cases. According to the studies that have been conducted, it is clear that negotiation is among the best channels that can be used to resolve hostage. Research has confirmed that less than 5% such cases will result in death if there if good negotiation skills are employed. Since negotiation relies on the knowledge of psychology, therefore, psychology is very important in modern hostage negotiation.
According to Miller (2005), there are less than 25% incidents that have been resolved and nobody is killed in cases of law enforcement on serious incidents. This condition has been improved with good negotiation strategies Miller (2005). Although every hostage situation appears different, they all have general similarities on how they are carried out and reasons of the practice. In some cases, hostage takers will uses hostages to attempt robbery and sometimes it is impossible for them to get away without the assurance of the hostages. Sometimes if law enforcement acts lethal towards such cases, the robbers might decide to kill the hostages before they are caught or before they kill themselves. Therefore, psychological knowledge will be very important in dealing with such situation to ensure that hostages’ lives are saved and if possible the hostage takers are arrested in a non-violent manner. Consequently, the psychological knowledge on hostage negotiation has been used for quite some period of time and there is a positive response in regard to its use. Considering such cases it is, therefore, important to ensure that more negotiator is trained with psychological knowledge since there are many cases of the hostage that are being experienced every day. The knowledge is also used in order to prolong the negotiation so as to give the chance of other tactical options to be used. On the other side, it is important to note that in most cases the negotiators are used to buy time for alternative options to be considered and this has been regarded to be very important considering a number of such cases.
For hostage negotiations to take place modern psychology must be applied. A psychological study conducted by Greenstone in 2013 revealed that, in any hostage situation, the lives of people are at a violent risk of death due to a homicidal, cold blooded, suicidal or even a depressed, drug controlled hostage taker. This happens in a chaotic family or a work place environment that is uncontrolled. As per Greenstone (2013), resolving the hostage situations and crises often take a lot of hours or even multiple days of intense negotiations and need the psychological principles to enable skilled communication. Notably, the use of the principles of modern psychology has changed the manner in which the police negotiate in hostage situations in various ways. First, it has enabled the police negotiator to work hand in hand with the individual involved in the crisis or the hostage situation towards a solution that is peaceful, and that which was viewed as impossible previously. This implies that psychological principles have enhanced the reconciliation of a counterpart issues with an aim of maintaining peace for a whole community.
Secondly, the psychological principles have enabled the police to employ active techniques for listening, maintain an approach that is open minded as well as create a rapport that can influence the counterparts of an individual. The principles have also changed the manner in which police negotiate to putting a lot of determination on the nature of the dynamic activities, negotiation skills and communication tools to use for the response of the hostage situations. By practicing this, a rapport and trust is built by the police negotiators with the takers of the hostages thus enabling the police negotiators to put together a lot of information that is useful concerning the hostage takers (Greenstone, 2013). This information gathered will, in turn, enable the determination of appropriate decision methods, communication, and negotiations. Apart from that, through the use of modern psychological principles, the police negotiators have come up with important skills of negotiations to be used in the hostage situations. These skills include the motto that says ‘talk to me’ to emphasize the essence of communication as an essential technique in the police negotiation in hostage situations. This creates a rapport to help the situation. The second skill is patience which aids in limiting the police negotiator from rushing to conclusions as well as jumping into resolutions.
There is also the active listening that employs both the effective as well as the affective skills to build trust with the police negotiators and the negotiating counterparts and establish rapports. With the use of modern psychological principles, police negotiations changed to being respectful to enable the counterpart feel that the negotiator is there to listen and address her concerns (Greenstone, 2013). Despite that, the police negotiations have adapted to being calm, a technique that is so quick to master by the hostage negotiator. By use of an understanding, calm or even a respectful tone, the subject realizes that an alternative way exists. Self-awareness is also a skill that enables the police negotiators to create and up bring a healthy relationship with a person he or she has never met while maintaining a strategic communication that its nature is purposeful. Lastly, in matters relating to the adaptability of the police negotiator, police negotiator adapts to the varying circumstances and reacts to those circumstances accordingly. The respond should not only ensure that the trustworthy relationship built with the negotiating counterparts is preserved but also bring the negotiating goals closer to them. Generally, on the arrival of the negotiators at a scene of a crisis so as to begin the negotiations, they have to put in mind that the subject is in the middle of an internal turmoil that is considerable (McMains & Mullins, 2014). In order to get rid of the crisis, the negotiators should first appreciate the aspects that might have brought the situation.
Among the practical psychologist, the most skilled are the crisis negotiators who have had a successful trend. A negotiator has to enforce the law by creating a conversation with the suicidal people, the takers of the hostages and any other individual who is barricaded. These psychologists have a role of participating in training, development and personnel selection as well as operational assistance in the course of a crisis intervention. They also monitor the progress of negotiation and memory of the people at the hostage situation. The negotiators put into use the primary technique of negotiation. This technique depends on the issues constructing and affecting the hostage resolutions for negotiation. (Spence & Millott, 2016). In addition, the negotiators put emphasis on the criminal as well as on the behavioral of the hostage takers who are involved in the scenes so as to decide if they can be taken as expressive or rather instruments.
A negotiator fits in the field of crisis intervention within the United States in the following ways. First, the negotiator must be able to withstand any form of deployment that is extended to complex as well as demanding situations and incidences. This is a specification training that is challenging, however, the public and even the service administrators in the United States, expect that the trained and the deployed negotiators are useful and purposefully fit. They, therefore, provide negotiators who have the skills necessary to eventually minimize serious injuries, life loses and be successful. This is the fulfillment of their primary objective that is to preserve life. The other aspects such as subject confinement and arrest are important secondarily. (Spence & Millott, 2016). Secondly, to fit in the field of crisis intervention in the United States, the negotiator must be of a high standard with developed skills after going through training. Apart from that, the negotiator needs to be able to integrate in order to deliver of their skills and their knowledge as well especially in critical outcomes where the environments require pre-evidencing. This is reinforced particularly by the amount of money and time I invested in training including the consequences of the unexpected and poor performance.
On the other hand, the negotiator should be able to determine and implement the decision making and negotiation strategies in a different manner depending on the nature of the situation they are dealing with. This is in order to be able to fit in the crisis intervention in the states. The situation of the hostages can be expressive or even instrumental (McMains & Mullins, 2014). Furthermore, the negotiators ought to be in a position to direct the subjects who will express their perspectives into stating clearly the idea of their doubts and difficulties and speaking up their requests and demands to make work easier for the law enforcers to address them. Also, they have to adopt a technique in negotiation that is designed to elicit information and provide a skill that can be useful in helping the communicative subjects sort out the doubts and their scattered feelings and thoughts as well. The negotiators ought to be in a position to use an active skill of listening to alter the negotiation tone. To employ the listening skills in a successful manner, it is mandatory for the negotiator to understand the situation at hand first.
From the above discussion, it is clear that modern psychology should be applied in every hostage negotiations. The psychological principles are important, as they have enabled the police to employ active techniques for listening, maintain an approach that is open minded as well as create a rapport that can influence the counterparts of an individual. It has also enabled the police negotiator to work hand in hand with the individual involved in the crisis or the hostage situation towards a solution that is peaceful. Additionally, the use of the principles has enabled the police negotiators have come up with important skills of negotiations to be used in the hostage situations. It is also clear that, for a negotiator to fit in the field of crisis intervention, he/she must be highly skilled, able to withstand any form of deployment and lastly, should be able to determine and implement the decision making and negotiation strategies.