Therapeutic Risk Management for Violence: Stratifying Risk and Characterizing Violence.

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Violence risk assessment is a requisite component of mental health treatment. Adhering to standards of care and ethical and legal requirements necessitates a cogent process for conducting, and then documenting, other-directed violence risk screening, assessment, and management. In this 5-part series, we describe a model for achieving therapeutic risk management of the potentially violent patient, with essential elements involving: clinical interview augmented by structured screening or assessment tools; risk stratification in terms of temporality and severity; chain analysis to intervene on the functions of violent ideation and behavior; and personalized safety plans to mitigate/manage risk. This third column in the series describes other-directed violence risk stratification in terms of both severity and temporality, as well an approach for characterizing (ie, predatory/planned or impulsive/reactive) the violence risk posed by an individual.

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