Managing Risk in Clinical Practice: Psychodynamic and Forensic Insights

(meets criterion for liability management)

This program was offered on Saturday, October 11, 2014

Coffee & registration: 8:30-9am
Program: 9am-12:30pm
National 4-H Conference Center
7100 Connecticut Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Veiled or explicit threats of violence raise a therapist’s anxiety immediately, but few of us feel adequately prepared to respond adeptly. Uniting psychodynamic and forensic perspectives, three experts will address risk indicators, the psychodynamic origins of aggression and violence, and potential countertransference reactions. The presentation will also explore how our personal history and values — and our own emotional reactions to dangerous clients, violent content, and risk — may affect our clinical judgment and ability to intervene appropriately. Clinical cases that exemplify warning signs and ethical dilemmas involving confidentiality and clinical competence will be addressed.

Lastly, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss their own cases and reactions to the content presented. Our goal is to help you conclude the morning emotionally and intellectually better prepared to identify and manage risk.


Russ Palarea, PhD is founder and President of Operational Psychology Services, former Staff Operational Psychologist with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), and consultant to the NCIS Threat Management Unit, Counterterrorism Department, and Insider Threat Program.

Eric Shaw, PhD serves as a behavioral consultant to corporate, government and law enforcement groups involved in investigations and violence and insider risk assessments. He regularly deals with high-risk individuals in his consulting and private practice in Washington, DC.

Karen Eberwein, PsyD consults to Defense agencies where she works to identify, assess, and manage individuals who may present a threat to a person or entity within the federal government. She has advanced training in group and organizational dynamics and is in private practice, frequently working with persons who have returned to the US after working in high-threat assignments.

Blending forensic and psychodynamic perspectives, the experts will address:

  • Violence risk indicators
  • Responding to third-party risks affecting us or patients
  • The role of countertransference in recognizing and dealing with potentially dangerous patients
  • The psychodynamic origins of aggression and violent behavior


At the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss current research and empirically supported best practices for assessing and dealing with the types of violence risks seen in typical clinical practice.
  2. Describe and discuss the range of countertransference reactions that may impact the recognition and treatment of risks or violent behaviors in practice.
  3. Explain theories of individual factors and dynamics that can drive, exacerbate, or ameliorate violence risk.
  4. Discuss the therapeutic, ethical, and legal risks of different intervention options available to clinicians to assist them in dealing with potential violence in their practice.

This conference is intended for professionals at all levels of experience.

Registration and fees

Free for ICP+P members
$90 for Non-members
$35 for students

Pay by credit card and register at Eventbrite


Pay by check and mail in the registration form

For more information, call 202-686-9300 ext. 5 or email

Continuing Education Credit – 3.25 CE credits available for full attendance. The Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (ICP+P) maintains responsibility for this program and its content. ICP+P is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. ICP+P is approved by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners to offer Category I continuing education credit. Because ICP+P has approval from the Maryland Board, CE credit hours awarded by ICP+P may also be claimed by social workers licensed in Virginia and the District of Columbia. These continuing education credits meet the ANCC approval standards for nurses and the approved standards for marriage and family therapists. Attendees from the above professional groups will earn 3.25 CE credits for attending the conference. Full attendance is required to receive the designated CE credit. ICP+P is accredited by MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians. ICP+P designates this educational activity for a maximum of 3.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Russ Palarea, PhD, Eric Shaw, PhD and Karen Eberwein, PsyD have informed us that they do not have a conflict of interest and have disclosed that they have no relevant financial relationships with any commercial interests pertaining to this educational activity. Additionally, the presenters have been instructed to disclose any limitations of data and unlabeled or investigational uses of products during this presentation. This presentation will not contain any references to off-label (non-FDA-approved) use of products or devices.