Therapeutic Risk Management for Violence: Augmenting Clinical Risk Assessment With Structured Instruments.

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Violence risk assessment is a requisite component of mental health treatment. Adhering to standards of care and ethical and legal requirements necessitates a cogent process for conducting, and then documenting, other-directed violence risk screening, assessment, and management. In this 5-part series, we describe a model for achieving therapeutic risk management of the potentially violent patient, with essential elements involving: clinical interview augmented by structured screening or assessment tools; risk stratification in terms of temporality and severity; chain analysis to intervene on the functions of violent ideation and behavior; and a personalized safety plan to mitigate/manage risk. This second column in the series describes the advantages of, and offers suggestions for, incorporating structured tools into violence risk assessment.

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