In the last two decades the mental health field has spawned a proliferation of publications and books about the risk of violence: how to assess and manage such risk, the links between mental illness and violence and the debate as to whether mental health workers should be involved in risk prediction at all. But while much has been written about the prediction and prevention of violence, less attention has been paid to the treatment of violent behaviour. Furthermore, much of the literature is written from a medical perspective, focusing on the small proportion of individuals whose violence is associated with mental illness and can be treated with medication or short-term behavioural treatments. Yet many mental health workers in forensic and non-forensic settings, as well as professionals from other disciplines such as probation, police and social services, work closely with violent individuals who may not be formally mentally ill, but clearly in need of help.
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