Considering the frequency and pervasiveness of trauma, it is essential for us counselors to have full comprehension of the psychological, emotional, and spiritual impact trauma imposes on people, and the treatment methods for repairing the damage.
My work as a counselor involves working with two organizations; these clients are mainly victims of the troubles. The approaches that I use are Person Centered, Cognitive approach and its interventions and occasionally I use the S.A.F.E Model (Mitchell 1998) along with some self- help books.
Since 1973, much of what has been written about crisis/hostage negotiation has focused on the various motivational or psychological characteristics of perpetrators, the effects of being held captive e.g. the Stockholm syndrome and the emotional responses of hostage takers. Such information has been particularly helpful in increasing understanding about the effects of high stress on both subjects and negotiators. The S.A.F.E. model (Mitchell 1998) represents one important framework for developing crisis negotiation strategy, defined as a communication plan to influence the behavior of the subject e.g., hostage taker or suicidal individual to peacefully surrender or assist in a tactical resolution. The S.A.F.E. framework is based on years of behavioral science research and incorporates the valuable insights of countless crisis negotiators. It has been field tested and adopted by a number of local, state and federal law enforcement crisis negotiation teams and identified as a critical skill for training international law enforcement agencies by the U.S. Department of State.
It is useful for detecting and measuring indicators of a worsening situation and for reporting progress to command. The S.A.F.E. framework is incorporated in the three core areas of a "critical incident position paper" (1) Status: where are we now (2) Assessment: what brought us to this point (3) Recommendations: what should we continue to do-and what should we do differently In addition, S.A.F.E. strategies can be incorporated in incident command decision-making. The model is employed to resolve critical situations involving terrorist activities, international, "ethnic conflict" incidents, prison uprisings, cult confrontations, disgruntled, potentially violent employees, suicidal individuals, domestic e.g. spousal violence situations, barricaded individuals, and emotionally or mentally disturbed individuals. The S.A.F.E. framework assesses and tracks four key "triggers" for de-escalating crisis situations. These four elements are expressed in the behavior and dialogue that takes place between the subject and the negotiator. The four "triggers" are:
Substantive Demands: The instrumental wants or demands made by the parties e.g. subject and negotiator
Attunement: The relational trust established between the parties
Face: The self-image of each of the parties that is threatened or honored
Emotion: The degree of emotional distress experienced by the parties.
The S.A.F.E. framework integrates work on emotion and stress by developing strategies of (1) empathic listening to communicate to the subject that his/her situation and emotional state is understood, and (2) influence strategies that focus on the "action tendency" of the specific emotional distress state of the subject. The S.A.F.E. model identifies five core emotional distress