Social Sciences

Start Free Trial

What are five things a crisis worker should explore with a client who is suspected of being homicidal?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When a crisis worker is confronted with a client expressing homicidal ideation, there are several key steps that should be taken to assess the threat level.

The crisis worker will need to assess what is known of the client in terms of any relevant personal history. For example, does the...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

When a crisis worker is confronted with a client expressing homicidal ideation, there are several key steps that should be taken to assess the threat level.

The crisis worker will need to assess what is known of the client in terms of any relevant personal history. For example, does the client have a history of enacting domestic violence against an intimate partner or violence against someone they feel has wronged them?

A crisis worker should also explore how serious the client is about their homicidal ideation. Does the client have an active plan to harm someone? The worker will need to directly ask about these plans to assess whether the ideation is based more in fantasy (perhaps treatable) or reality (active threat).

Does the client have direct access to means to harm someone? For example, does the client have firearms in the house, and are they talking about shooting someone?

Additionally, the crisis worker should ask the client to talk about how their relationships would be affected if they were to follow through with their homicidal ideations. Exploring how the client responds to thinking about the broader consequences of their actions could help the crisis worker assess the threat level.

Lastly, is the client already engaged in violent behavior at the time of the crisis intervention? Are they sending threatening messages to the intended victim? Exploring if/how the client is already acting on violent ideations can help determine the current threat level and how fast the client is moving toward enacting their violent ideations.

This is not a definitive list, but includes five necessary considerations for a crisis worker to explore in this complicated scenario.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on