The very nature of a therapeutic relationship lends itself to a close, emotional bond between therapist and patient. But, what happens when that bond leads to a release of negative emotions or a physically violent reaction from a patient? According to an article published by the American Psychological Association, the risk of confrontations with patients during therapy is more common than is often thought.
“Estimates vary,” said author Elizabeth Winkelman, JD, Ph.D, director of professional affairs for the California Psychological Association, “but as of 2012, studies suggested that almost half of psychotherapists will at some time experience at least one incident of physical attack, verbal abuse or other harassment by a client.”
Not all of these confrontations, of course, lead to injury.
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Catherine Robertson Souter
Psych Central Professional