Clinical and Legal Issues in Work with Persons with Violent Behaviors

Brattleboro , Vermont
Friday, November 09, 2012

Robert Kinscherff, PhD, Esq., and Elizabeth Wohl, Esq.

Clinical and Legal Issues in Work with Persons with Violent Behaviors
Friday, November 09, 2012 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

The Brattleboro Retreat
One Anna Marsh Lane
P.O. Box 803
Brattleboro , Vermont 05302
United States

Map and Directions

Persons with psychiatric disabilities and histories of violent behavior pose significant clinical, ethical and legal challenges.  Dr. Kinscherff will review research on the relationships among mental illness, substance abuse and violence, and describes risk management and intervention strategies. Both Dr. Kinscherff and Ms. Wohl will address professional practice issues with ethical and legal implications such as scope of competent practice, informed consent, clinical and legal accountability for violent behavior, guardianship, mandated reporting, and duty to warn or protect.

In addition to the CEUs regularly offered by the Brattleboro Retreat's Office of Continuing Education, this seminar has been approved for 5.75 general credits by the Vermont Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board.

Learning Objectives:

At the send of this seminar, participants will be able to:

1.  identify the research-based relationships among psychiatric diagnosis, substance abuse and violent behavior.

2.  incorporate concepts of “risk” into clinical decision-making and communicating about “risk” to others.

3.  articulate the key components of risk assessment and management strategies, including clinically distinguishing between violence linked to psychiatric disability and violence reflecting criminal misconduct.

4.  identify key ethical issues such as scope of professional competence and informed consent in work with clients/patients with histories of violence. 

5.  incorporate key legal issues into their clinical decision-making and professional practices, including guardianship, mandated reporting, confidentiality and testimonial privilege, and duties to warn or protect. 

Course Outline:

8:00 am - 8:30 am   -   Registration and Coffee

8:30 am - 10:00 am  -   Conceptualizing Violence 
                                               The Relationship between Mental
                                                         Illness and Violence

10:00 am - 10:15 am  -  Break & Refreshments

10:15 am - 11:30 am  -   Risk Management Planning
                                              Assessing Volatile Situations
11:30 am - 11:45 am  Break & Refreshments

11:45 am - 12:45 pm   Relevant Elements under the Law

  • Civil and Forensic Commitment Status
  • Identifying the Legal Client in Civil and Forensic Cases

12:45 pm - 1:45 pm -   Lunch

1:45 pm - 3:45 pm  -    Relevant Elements under the Law (continued)

  • Issues of Confidentiality and Privilege and the differences in Civil and Forensic Cases
  • Differences in Patient Management, privileges, etc. between civil and forensic
  • commitment cases and where acute violence is a management challenge
  • Issues in Informed Consent
  • Guardianship 
  • Mandated Reporting, Duty to Warn/Protect 

3:45 pm - 4:00 pm - Participant question and answer session 

Robert Kinscherff, PhD, Esq., is a psychologist and attorney at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology where he teaches forensic psychology, law and professional ethics, and clinical practice.  He is Senior Associate for the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice and previously Assistant Commissioner for Forensic Services for the MA Department of Mental Health.

Elizabeth Wohl, Esq. practices at the intersection of health law and litigation.  She advises clients on health law and privacy-related issues including HIPAA, 42 CFR Part 2, EMTALA, and Medicare/Medicaid surveys and certification.  She works in the Brattleboro office of Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC.


Contact Information

  • Please contact
     the Office of Continuing Education
     with any questions at:

Payment Instructions

  • If you prefer to pay by check,
    Mail in registration fees are as follows:

    Paid 30 days or more prior to event: $140.00
    Paid less than thirty days prior to event: $160

     On-line discounts do not apply with mail-in registration 

    Download mail-in registration form.

    The Brattleboro Retreat,
    Continuing Education,
    P.O. Box 803, Brattleboro, VT 05302. 



© 2017
Quick, easy and affordable online event registration and event management software for all event sizes.