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Working with Risk in Counselling and Psychotherapy

Working with Risk in Counselling and Psychotherapy

  • Andrew Reeves - Professor in the Counselling Professions and Mental Health, Senior BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist and Registered Social Worker.

January 2015 | 184 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

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.

What do we mean by risk?
Risk assessment: talking and ticking boxes
Working with a risk of suicide
Working with self-injury and self-harm
The danger of violence and harm to others
Safeguarding and child protection
Mental health crisis: danger and opportunity
Using supervision to manage risks in the therapeutic process
Positive risk taking
Conclusion: bringing it together

An excellent practical resource that provides support through ex0planation, information and practical steps that can be taken when faced with risk in the therapy room.

Mrs Bridget McConnell
Sociology, Social Work & Social Policy, Guildford College
October 3, 2017

This is a well-structured book; readable yet well-referenced. The extensive use of sub-headings, bullet points and case examples makes for an attractive presentation. It is a practice-up rather than theory-down book, which will appeal to practitioners. The main development for the next edition might be to seek a stronger theoretical model and research base, perhaps by looking at risk and decision making in allied fields.

Professor Brian Taylor
Social Work , University of Ulster
July 1, 2015

This is essential reading for any counselling practitioner training course. It brings together different notions of risk and treads a well-thought-out line between offering solid practical information and prompting the reader to take responsibility for considering how to manage risk in their particular context. It is a valuable resource for tutors and learners alike.

Mrs Fiona Ballantine dykes
Psychology, CPCAB
June 29, 2015

This excellent and invaluable book fills an information gap in this crucial area. It covers neglected topics such as how to respond to a client who is in danger of harming others and how to work with mental health crises. I would highly recommend this book to trainers and students alike.

Mrs Hilary McNair
Kent Adult Education, Kent Adult Education
June 23, 2015

An excellent exposition of risk and how to work with its many manifestations. The author moves beyond the simplistic binary opposition which often views patients either as at risk or not at risk and instead considers the phenomena in a richer more textured "multi-dimensional" manner. Invaluable.

Mr Damian White
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Surrey University
March 16, 2015

An excellent resource book to keep in our library for reference purposes

Mrs Julie K Wyman
Book Reviews, Devon Counselling College
August 19, 2015

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