The wide-ranging contexts in which counselling and psychotherapy is now practiced means clients present with a range of risks that therapists have to respond to. Risk is an ever-present issue for counsellors and psychotherapists and, in an increasingly litigious culture, the need for trainees to develop a sound understanding of how the right tools and the right knowledge can support their practice has never been greater. In this book Andrew Reeves takes trainees, newly qualified practitioners, and more experienced practitioners step-by-step through what is meant by risk, offering practical hints and tips and links to policy and research to inform good ethical practice along the way.

This book tackles: The definition of risk and how risk is linked to social, psychological and relational factors; Working with those who are at risk of suicide, self-injury, self-harm and/or are an endangerment to others; How therapists should respond to the risk in situations involving child protection, mental health crises, and in the therapeutic process itself; The positive side of risk-taking; How counsellors and psychotherapists can work with risk proactively and positively, informed by research.

Filled with case studies, ethical dilemmas, reflective questions, discussion questions and further reading, this book offers counsellors and psychotherapists guidance on how they can work with risk proactively and positively. It is an essential resource for all services, organisations and individual practitioners.

Mental Health Crisis: Danger and Opportunity

Mental health crisis: Danger and opportunity

Chapter Outline

Mental health crisis is the subject of much research, yet counsellors and psychotherapists are generally poorly equipped by their training to respond to an individual in crisis; specific skills are required and these will be highlighted. The factors that might lead an individual into mental health crisis will be explored, and an overview given of primary diagnostic factors that might be relevant. How mental health ‘systems’ work will be highlighted. Finally, the concept of crisis as a time of opportunity as well as danger will be discussed.

Introduction

While we have considered very specific risk situations that might present in counselling and psychotherapy, such as risk of suicide, the risk of mental health crisis is ...

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