This concise volume examines exactly what is involved in keeping adequate clinical records of individual, family, couple and group psychotherapy. The authors discuss: limits of confidentiality; retention and disposing of records; documentation of safety issues; client access to records; treatment of minors; and training and supervision issues. Throughout the book, legal cases, vignettes and professional commentary help readers to consider legal and ethical issues.
Chapter 6: Danger to Self
Danger to Self
This chapter addresses the topic of danger to self and the importance of keeping thorough documentation whenever working with suicidal clients. Whereas some therapists assume it is their professional obligation to do everything possible to keep a client alive, other therapists contend that clients are responsible for their acts. Regardless of your stand on suicide, the key questions are these: Did you know, or should you have known, of the risk? Were prudent measures used to prevent the client from committing suicide? Do you have a “standard” method for assessing lethality and for managing and documenting a suicidal client?
Assessing for Suicidal Potential
Conducting a suicidal assessment is part of administering a mental status exam, which may be divided into five major ...