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Trauma narratives: recommendations for investigative interviewing

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In the investigation of a criminal event, the police may encounter witnesses or victims experiencing symptoms of being traumatized (e.g. anxiety, intrusive thoughts, or avoidance of trauma-related stimuli). This may pose a challenge in investigative interviews where police interviewers aim to obtain reliable and detailed accounts. Based on previous theory and research, this theoretical paper aims to outline recommendations for police interviewers for approaching traumatized adult witnesses to facilitate communication, attend to the well-being of the individual, and reach investigative aims. First, factors considered important for preparing for the interview and building rapport will be presented. Then, different aspects of how to facilitate the interviewee’s account will be described with an emphasis on how police interviewers can approach emotional reactions to maintain rapport.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Early online date7 Apr 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 7 Apr 2020


  • Trauma Narratives

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychiatry, Psychology and Law on 07/04/2020, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 500 KB, PDF document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 7/04/21

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