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Co-assessing risk

Video Type: In Practice

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David and Christie “Co-assessing risk” Video Introduction As David explores Christie's options with her, she indicates that moving back in with John is not on the table. David is curious to learn more about John's interactions with Christie because regardless of whether they reconcile, he may continue to be involved in their lives as their daughter Cristelle's father. In this sense, David is assessing risk. What is it about the way he does this that merits the title “Co-assessing?” How does David draw out a detailed account of both Christie's observations, but also her reflections on safety and the possible merits of reunification with John? What questions help to move from vague generalizations to concrete examples? What aspects of this practice might you have done similarly/differently? Video Analysis Like most therapeutic exchanges, conversations focused on evaluating risk can accomplish more than one thing simultaneously. Here David is learning more about the risk of violence based on past history, but also helping Christie to consolidate her commitment to keeping her daughter safe. Rather than taking Christie's pronouncements at face value, David invites her to in effect justify them further by naming the values underlying her decisions. In situations where a lack of clarity regarding those fundamental values could lead to a drift towards a dangerous situation, this helps to ensure that Christie keeps her safety and her child's safety at the forefront. This is accomplished without needing to admonish Christie in a manner that could underestimate her own judgment.

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