Client and Counselor Safety for Mental Health Counselors

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When mental health counselor’s work at outpatient mental health facilities; it is inevitable they will work with numerous clients who have multiple issues with multiple diagnosis. It is also favorable to say that mental health counselors wear many hats when working with their clients who can experience different crisis on a day to day basis.
When mental health counselors work with various clients during their career, they need to practice confidentiality and privacy when conducting one-on-one, group, or any type of counseling services. Like any medical patient, mental health clinicians need to treat their clients with dignity and respect. It is extremely important for the mental health counselor working with his or her assigned caseload to promote their clients’ right by providing a safe and private place to conduct counseling services. This is also where the counselor can begin a professional relationship and establish a respectable rapport with their client. Unfortunately, there are times when clients may lose their temper or feel that they are being provoked. When counseling certain population’s that could pose a potential for violence, counselors need to be aware of that they themselves can become victims of physical, verbal, and sexual assaults and stalking. Counselors who work with these populations should to take proper precautions so they can protect themselves and still provide the necessary counseling services.
The counselor’s ability to predict which client will be violent heavily relies on the conditions the client enters counseling terms on. Some clients have a disposition prior to entering counseling services if it is court ordered, or if they are engaging in services under some type of condition like to please ...

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...responsible to the employer to provide post incident support to the counselor. Following an assault by a client an estimated 17% met the criteria for PTSD. The management of posttraumatic stress needs to be recognized for immediate treatment and additional psychological care with follow up.
Though not all mental health clients are not violent most if not all community agencies have safety plans for preventive measures. Worksite analysis is the primary focus of finding out what areas can be additionally dangerous to clients and staff for hazard prevention controls. Employer and counselor training on work place violence and education on preventative measures such as drills, orientation, and in-services. Anti-violence prevention and general staff involvement in community resources so they are knowledgeable and informed about issues, crisis situations, and referrals.
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