Although it happens rarely, one of the professional risk factors on the job for a psychotherapist is violence from a client. Some therapists are more exposed to this possibility than others, such as those who work with poorer, urban populations (because the rates of violence are higher in these populations).
So it was with sadness that we read of a local therapist’s murder by her client, while visiting her client’s apartment. You might think that unusual — a therapist making a house call. Yet for professionals who work in family crisis centers in urban areas, they usually take on a wider role, sometimes similar to that of a social worker.
The organization the therapist worked for, the Lawrence FLEX program, helps keep families together, in their home:
The services are primarily aimed at keeping the children safely at home with their families, in their community, out of residential programs and away from hospital care
Although rare, we have to mark such occurrences because they remind us the risks and sacrifices that therapists make every day to provide psychotherapy services to their clients.
Our sympathies go out to the family of the therapist, Diruhi Mattian.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Feb 2008
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Grohol, J. (2008). Therapist Job Risks: Murdered by Your Client. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 27, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2008/02/07/therapist-job-risks-murdered-by-your-client/