Posted on May 15th 2022
Psychology Students Learn About Hostage Negotiation Skills
Year 10 GCSE Psychology classes recently met Inspector John Fisher, a serving Metropolitan Police Officer leading the Hostage and Crisis Negotiation Unit, to learn about some of the specialist skills and knowledge of human psychology and behaviour on which he and his team have to draw in their valuable work.
Inspector Fisher delivered a presentation that showed real life examples of how some of the topics covered in the GCSE Psychology course are applied in practical situations, including social influence, language, thought and communication, the brain and psychological problems.
The students were actively engaged in Inspector Fisher’s accounts of how he and his team use patience, effective communication, a thorough understanding of dynamic risk, building rapport and trust.
They also heard about how his team influence decision making when working with people suffering from a mental health crisis or people holding others hostage, both nationally and internationally.
He also reiterated the importance of managing our own mental health and practising healthy habits when we are working to support others.
What students said...
“I think that the presentation was interesting and particularly interesting to see how mental health affects the officers that try to negotiate. I like that the officer spoke about his personal experience which made it more impactful and I really appreciated how he didn’t shy away from talking about suicide, using the word and de-stigmatising it.” – G
“One of the things that I will remember is that body language says a lot about what your next moves are or how you are interpreted by others.” – J
“The police officer was interactive and helped give us an understanding of mental health and real life situations, he also reminded us about how important mental health is and what to do when feeling overwhelmed or down; I also liked how it was applied to normal day activities.” - H
“The assembly was very useful and interactive and it gave me a broad understanding of how psychology is used in other working fields rather than just research. John talked mostly about his experience which was extremely helpful to understand.” - S
“I learnt about how mental health can change on a daily basis and can depend on unusual situations. I found it interesting that people like John were willing to put their lives/mental health on the line for others and thought it was very courageous.” – N
“It was informative and showed me how psychology is used in hostage and crisis situations. I realised how suicide has increased and also learnt how psychology can be used to ease pressure and tension in suicide-related situations.” - H