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.

Using Supervision to Manage Risks in the Therapeutic Process

Using supervision to manage risks in the therapeutic process

Chapter Outline

In this chapter we will consider a number of specific risks that can arise in the therapeutic process, such as crossing boundaries (sexual, financial), exploitation of clients, lack of ethical thinking, as well as risks to the therapist, such as poor self-care, burnout and vicarious trauma. We will then consider ways in which we might support ourselves in working with these risks, such as in supervision.


Throughout the previous chapters we have considered particular situational risks as presented by clients, such as suicide risk, risks associated with self-harm and self-injury, as well as violence to others and safeguarding concerns. This is how we often think about working with ...

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