Recognising clients who may pose a risk of violence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


Psychologists are problem-solvers whose training enables them to provide informed responses to novel and complex situations in the lives of their clients. In some cases situations have arisen where clients form plans to harm other people. This occurred when 22-year-old James Stoneham formed the plan to murder his ex-girlfriend Adriana Donato while receiving mental health care that included psychological treatment. In the ensuing investigation into the death of Ms Donato, Coroner Peter White considered several elements of Mr Stoneham’s treatment, including whether there was recognition of risk and the limits to confidentiality when the clients of psychologists become a risk to others (Coroners Court of Victoria, 2017). While the published decision was redacted, preventing the fullness of the Coroner’s findings being available, the case has become a reminder for psychologists of the need to be alert to the risks clients can pose to the people around them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-24
Number of pages3
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • violence
  • Risk analysis

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