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Harm to Others: The Assessment and Treatment of Dangerousness

ISBN: 978-1-119-02697-6
272 pages
December 2014
Harm to Others: The Assessment and Treatment of Dangerousness (1119026970) cover image


Harm to Others offers students and clinicians an effective way to increase their knowledge of and training in violence risk and threat assessment, and it also provides a comprehensive examination of current treatment approaches. Although the text includes many examples from K–12 and college/university settings, which are particularly relevant for mental health professionals in school settings, the underlying concepts and suggestions are useful for counselors, psychologists, and social workers who face these issues in their daily practice.

In an easy-to-understand, jargon-free manner, Dr. Van Brunt shares his observations, extensive clinical expertise, and the latest research on what clinicians should be aware of when performing risk and threat assessments. In addition, he offers numerous examples from recent mass shootings and rampage violence to help explain the motivations and risk factors of those who make threats. Two detailed case examples are presented to illustrate key concepts related to assessing dangerousness. Treatment options are then described, using a variety of diverse case studies to demonstrate concrete approaches for clients who have been identified as at risk for violence following a threat assessment.

*Requests for digital versions from the ACA can be found on wiley.com. 
*To request print copies, please visit the ACA website.


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Table of Contents

Preface vii

About the Author xi

PART 1 Assessment of Violence

Chapter 1 Understanding Violence 5

Chapter 2 Preparing for the Assessment 23

Chapter 3 Case Studies 41

Chapter 4 Central Threat Concepts 79

Chapter 5 Additional Threat Concepts 93

Chapter 6 Risk Factors Identified in the Literature 109

Chapter 7 Structured Professional Judgment 121

PART 2 Treatment of Dangerousness

Chapter 8 Learning to Listen 143

Chapter 9 Understanding Their Story 153

Chapter 10 Learning to Think Differently 165

Chapter 11 Taking It Step by Step 175

Chapter 12 Searching for Meaning 187

Chapter 13 Case Studies Treatment Summary 199

Appendix A On-Campus Risk Assessment Informed Consent 209

Appendix B Off-Campus Provider Questions 213

Appendix C The Structured Interview for Violence Risk Assessment (SIVRA-35) 215

Appendix D ATAP "Risk Assessment Guideline Elements for Violence: Considerations for Assessing the Risk of Future Violent Behavior" 219

Appendix E Reality Therapy WDEP Worksheet 231

Appendix F An Existential Exercise 233

References 235

Index 245

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"This wonderful book is a multidisciplinary and much-needed guide for all of us working in the field of risk assessment for violence. Dr. Van Brunt blends his extensive academic and clinical skills to offer invaluable principles, concepts, and approaches. I have worked in this field for many years and have amassed a lot of experience, and I will have this book on my desk so I can refer to it every time I get that gut-wrenching call that begins, 'I am worried that this person could act out violently. What should I do' " (This opinion is not the opinion of the FBI. It is solely the opinion of Dr. Mary Ellen O'Toole.)—Mary Ellen O'Toole, PhD, Author, Speaker, Senior FBI Profiler (ret.), Forensic Behavior Consultant

"Brian Van Brunt has written a remarkable book. He not only provides comprehensive guidelines for evaluating dangerousness, but unlike many authors on this topic, he goes beyond evaluation to explore numerous treatment approaches for helping people at risk for violence to live safe, productive lives. This book is a unique contribution to the field of violence prevention."—Peter Langman, PhD, Author of Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters and School Shooters: Understanding High School, College, and Adult Perpetrators

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