1st Edition

Conflict and Crisis Communication
Principles and Practice

ISBN 9780415615129
Published May 24, 2011 by Routledge
240 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

Conflict and crisis communication is the management of a critical incident which has the potential for resolution through successful negotiations. This can include negotiating with individuals in crisis, such as those threatening self-harm or taking individuals hostage as part of emotional expression, and also critical incidents such as kidnapping and terrorist activities.

By focusing on the empirical and strong theoretical underpinnings of critical incident management, and including clear demonstrations of the practical application of conflict and crisis communication by experts in the field, this book proves to be a practical, comprehensive and up-to-date resource. Discussion of relevant past incidents – such as the 1993 WACO siege in the United States – is used to enhance learning, whilst an examination of the application of critical incident management to individuals with mental disorder offers groundbreaking insight from clinicians working in this area.

Conflict and Crisis Communication is an excellent source of reference for national and international law enforcement agencies, professionals working in forensic settings, and also postgraduate students with an interest in forensic psychology and forensic mental health.

Table of Contents

1. Conflict and Crisis Negotiation: The Negotiated Resolution Model by Gregory M. Vecchi  2. Negotiation: Principles and Theoretical Underpinnings by Neil Gredecki  3. Crisis Situations: Communications, Goals, and Techniques by Samuel L. Browning, Andrea M. Brockman, and Vincent B. Van Hasselt  4. Application of the Critical Incident to Mental Illness and Cognitive Impairment: Considerations and Implications by Carol A. Ireland  5. Application of the Critical Incident to Personality Disorder: Considerations and Implications by Carol A. Ireland  6. Ethical Considerations in a Conflict and Crisis Situation by Martin J. Fisher  7. Expertise of the Negotiator in Conflict and Crisis Communication by Martin J. Fisher  8. When the Management of the Critical Incident Goes Wrong: Pitfalls and Suggested Approaches by Debbie Marsh  9. Post Critical Incident: Considerations by Abigail S. Tucker  10. Held Against their Choice: Behaviour, Considerations and Implications for the Captive by Carol A. Ireland and Gretory M. Vecchi

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Carol A. Ireland is a chartered psychologist, forensic psychologist and chartered scientist. She works for Mersey Care NHS Trust, where she is lead for sex offender therapies and crisis (hostage) negotiation, and acts as an advisor in crisis/conflict situations. She is also Director of Studies for the MSc in Forensic Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire, and Vice-Chair of the British Psychological Societies Division of Forensic Psychology.

Martin  J. Fisher is a  Forensic Psychologist, chartered psychologist and chartered scientist. Until June 2009 he was the  Area  Psychologist for  South Central area of NOMS, with responsibility for specialist services including drugs strategy, safer custody, mental and physical health service provision. He is now a Consultant  Forensic  Psychologist in the  NOMS HR Directorate and an Honorary Forensic Psychologist in the NHS, as well being a visiting lecturer in  Forensic  Psychology at the University of Portsmouth.  He has been an HMPS Negotiation Advisor since the early 1990s. 

Gregory M. Vecchi is the unit chief of the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Dr. Vecchi conducts research, training, and consultation activities in behavior-based conflict analysis and resolution, crisis management, crisis communication, and global hostage-taking. He has conducted extensive research and is published in the areas of conflict and crisis management and communication and he teaches, trains, and consults executive law enforcement officers on the topic. 



'In a society where we have an ever increasing expectation of instant gratification frustration can in the correct conditions easily transit through anger, on to aggression and into violence. It is perhaps therefore not surprising that those whose work brings us into contact with other human beings can find themselves dealing with aggressive or distressed behaviour somewhere on the crisis continuum.

Conflict and Crisis Communication: Principles and Practice examines in detail the management of the extreme end of the crisis continuum including those threatening self harm, barricade situations and hostage taking. This is a rare book not just in the specialist nature of the subject matter but in the fact that it carefully and successfully balances theory and practice. Ireland, Fisher and Vecchi draw on their own practical experience to ensure all theory links solidly to practical application.

In addition to examining several models of crisis negotiation the subjects of managing crisis with those suffering from mental illness and cognitive impairment and personality disorder are covered in detail with useful case examples in a range of contexts explored. It is refreshing and realistic to see these chapters containing useful guidance in constructing a framework in which to work collaboratively with the individual in crisis to achieve a peaceful outcome and avoiding using diagnosis to solely structure the negotiation process.

A chapter is devoted to the lesser discussed important subject of ethical considerations within a conflict and crisis situation. Once again the text effectively links theory to practice and encourages the reader to consider issues that are likely to arise and potentially evolve and change as incidents progress.

Several high profile incidents are discussed in detail and the issue of when a critical incident goes wrong is explored suggesting helpful learning points including the role of the media and political pressure. Post incident issues are also examined contrasting post incident responses in the context of the current evidence base.

Conflict and Crisis Communication is an excellent resource for those working in specialist negotiation fields and those with experience in this area will recognise the relevance and value of this publication. However the theory and strategies discussed are also likely to be of benefit to anyone who deals with regular conflict in mental health care and forensic settings who can utilise these problem solving skills to prevent conflicts from escalating into crisis.'

Dr Alastair Black is Consultant Psychotherapist and Head of Psychological Therapies for the Police Rehabilitation and Retraining Trust in Northern Ireland. He is a Conflict Management and Physical Intervention Trainer and Psychological Consultant to the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s (PSNI) Hostage and Crisis Negotiation team.