Date(s) - Aug 4, 2022
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm




Presenter: Dr Stephen Hart: Simon Fraser University (Canada) & Protect International Risk and Safety Services Inc (Canada)

Violent thoughts include an interest in or preoccupation with violence and a desire or willingness to use violence. They may include ideas, fantasies, images, urges, or plans. Violent thoughts are often overlooked by professionals despite the fact that they are a primary warning sign for violence risk according to research, practice, and law. Although violent thoughts can be a normal human experience, when they are recent and serious it is critical to evaluate these thoughts as a means of preventing possible escalation to actual, attempted, or threatened physical harm. The first part of this presentation will provide an in-depth discussion of conceptual issues related to violent thoughts. The definition of violent thoughts will be discussed. Multiple theories about violent thoughts will be reviewed, including action theory (e.g., considering violent thoughts as the inception of a goal or intent). Research on the prevalence and nature of violent thoughts and its association with violence risk will be also be summarized. Practice tools for the evaluation of violent thoughts will be presented. The second part of the presentation will present an in-depth case study to illustrate the assessment and management of violent thoughts in threat assessment.

Dr. Stephen D. Hart is a Professor of Psychology at Simon Fraser University and, outside academia, a Director and Threat Assessment Specialist at Protect International Risk and Safety Services Inc. He is recognized in Canada as a Certified Threat Assessment Professional. He served as Founding Editor of both the International Journal of Forensic Mental and the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management. He is the recipient of distinctions including the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals, and the Distinguished Contribution Award from the American Academy of Forensic Psychology.


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