The Duty to Protect: Ethical, Legal, and Professional Considerations for Mental Health Professionals
Psychologists and other mental health professionals rightfully experience significant anxiety regarding their duty to protect when working with potentially dangerous individuals who are at risk of harming others or themselves. In fact, a recent study suggests that 75% are misinformed about their legal duties to such clients. The Duty to Protect dispels myths and provides clinicians, supervisors, and trainers with a comprehensive resource addressing the situations where a duty to protect may apply. The duty itself is defined and described, as are risk assessment steps and interventions to reduce risk.
The chapters are written by leading scientist–practitioners to promote best practices in some of the most ethically and legally challenging areas encountered by practitioners. They discuss the legal and ethical foundations of the duty to protect and the duty to warn; professional ethics codes in the U.S. and internationally; risk assessment to others in cases involving threats of homicide, intimate partner violence, stalking, the transfer of communicable diseases, and impairment while operating heavy machinery or motor vehicles. Threats of harm to the self are also discussed in chapters that address suicide, self-injury, and end-of-life issues.
This book is a comprehensive resource that will assist readers in understanding their options and obligations and therefore improve the care they provide in some of the most stressful and potentially dangerous situations faced by mental health providers.