Psychological Aspects of Crisis Negotiation  book cover
3rd Edition

Psychological Aspects of Crisis Negotiation

ISBN 9781138557031
Published December 6, 2017 by CRC Press
352 Pages

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Book Description

Psychological Aspects of Crisis Negotiation, Third Edition, explores the methods and strategies for confronting the nine types of subjects typically encountered in hostage/suicide sieges by correctional staff and law enforcement crisis negotiators. Strentz, an experienced negotiator who designed and directed the FBI’s hostage negotiator program, lays out the critical elements that are required for a successful encounter with a hostage taker or other malfeasant.

This book highlights psychological dynamics of negotiations as they apply to the negotiator, the hostage, and the subject. It discusses the predictors of surrender versus the need for a tactical intervention and examines the phases of a hostage crisis and the changing focus as the crisis develops. Referencing historical events such as the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Challenger and Columbia incidents, this text demonstrates how faulty group decision making can spell tragedy.

Enhanced with case studies to put the material into context, this third edition also includes new chapters on the SWAT team/crisis negotiator interface and on the genesis of the increased incidence of mentally ill hostage takers. Based on decades of experience in the fi eld and practical advice from a national expert, this volume arms negotiators with the knowledge and tools they need to defuse crises and increase the odds that hostages will survive.

Table of Contents



Part I Basic concepts

1. In the Beginning

2. The American Psychiatric Association (APA)

3. Patients to Prisoners

4. Characteristics of Effective Hostage/Crisis Negotiators

5. Cross-Trained versus Cross-Qualified

6. First Responder Guidelines

7. Non-Law Enforcement/Correctional Crisis Negotiators

8. The Crisis Negotiation Team

9. Stress and the Hostage/Crisis Negotiator

10. SWAT/Negotiator Interface

Part II Dealing with the Other Victim

11. Negotiating with Normal People

12. Negotiating with the Adolescent in Crisis

13 Negotiating with the Dependent/Inadequate Person

14. Negotiating with the Antisocial Personality Disorder (It's All about Me!)

15. Negotiating with the Paranoid Schizophrenic

16. Negotiating with the Bipolar Hostage Taker (I'm Focused and Flying High)

17. Negotiating with the Suicidal Hostage Taker

18. Negotiating with the Police Assisted Suicidal Person

19. Crisis Negotiations in the Correctional Setting

20. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Syndrome (TBS)

21. Negotiating with the Extremist

Part III Crisis Resolution Indicators

22. Indicators of Subject Surrender

23. Indicators of Subject Violence

Part IV Group Dynamics

24. Group Think

25. Creative Criteria for Constructive Deviation from Crisis Negotiation Guidelines

Part V Hostage Issues

26. Phases of the Crisis

27. The Stockholm Syndrome

28. What Do You Say to a Hostage?

29. A Hostage Psychological Survival Guide


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Thomas Strentz, PhD, is a professional anti-terrorism expert specializing in hostage negotiations, negotiator instruction, and hostage survival. A veteran of twenty-one years in the FBI, he designed, developed, and directed their hostage negotiations program and is now a consultant, trainer, and expert witness. He has been involved in resolving numerous terrorist situations worldwide.


"Psychological Aspects of Crisis Negotiation addresses issues that other books don't cover in great detail. It stands alone and would be an excellent addition to any other book out there. I would heartily recommend this book for those who are crisis negotiation teachers and students."
Ray Birge, crisis negotiations consultant, Ray Birge and Associates; Captain, Oakland, CA, Police Department (retired)

"The sections on mental health history and SWAT interface are extremely timely. With mental health treatment cutbacks, law enforcement is dealing with increasing numbers of mentally ill persons. This book gives the tools police negotiators need in interacting with persons in crisis. It is also important to understand the SWAT vs. negotiations dynamic. The vast majority of SWAT calls are resolved by negotiations. It is imperative all negotiators understand how SWAT can help or hurt the negotiations process."
Russell Moore, Sheriff Sergeant, San Diego Sheriff’s Department