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date: 26 March 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Although concerns about violence risk emerge regularly in routine clinical practice, many clinicians feel underprepared to assess and manage violence risk. One problem is that the rich knowledge base underlying violence risk assessment has largely remained in the specialties of forensic psychology and psychiatry, where it has been less familiar to clinicians in general practice. In this chapter we review the legal and ethical parameters that guide clinician appraisals of violence risk, and then we summarize the foundational knowledge and techniques—from both the forensic psychology approach and the emerging field of threat assessment. By integrating basic knowledge and practices from these specialized disciplines, clinicians can more comfortably incorporate violence risk assessment and management into their routine care for patients, better infuse risk assessment into the start of treatment, monitor risk over the course of treatment, and respond appropriately to any threats of violence that emerge.

Keywords: risk assessment, risk management, threat assessment, violence risk, Tarasoff, duty to warn, duty to protect

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