Poster Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

From a ‘Hot Moment to a Cool Calm’: How Hostage Negotiators and Crisis Counselors Influence Positive Behavioural Changes With People in Crisis (#675)

Jeff Thompson 1
  1. Columbia University Medical Center, Bayside, NEW YORK, United States

People in crisis and those who are suicidal frequently feel as if their situation is hopeless, helpless, they are alone, and that they have no control over their life. Fortunately, when they are engaging a crisis intervention specialist, this expert can help restore a perspective that there is hope, things can get better, people care about them and want to help to them, and importantly, restore a sense of control back over their lives.

Research on what makes crisis counselors and law enforcement crisis/hostage negotiators effective demonstrates that active listening skills used by these expert intervention specialists can help influence a positive behavioral change in the person in crisis. The goal in these situations is to resolve the immediate crisis at hand, help them develop positive coping strategies, and also establish a plan to help them get on a path to recovery. In Crisis Text Line terms, this process is described as moving the person from a ‘hot moment to a cool calm.’

This poster shares this process that these experts use which includes active listening micro skills that develops rapport, demonstrates empathy, and jointly explores options in order to influence a positive change in the person.