Session Topic: Dealing with aggressive and difficult behaviours from patients or their families
Dr Lisa Warren is an Australian pioneer in the field of behavioural threat management, whose extensive experience encompasses hands-on assessment and development of treatment programs, education and training, standards and ethics, and international research. Lisa has led innovations in the assessment, treatment and broader management of threateners, the persistent and fixated, and recidivist violent offenders. She embraces a balanced approach when dealing with those who perpetrate problem behaviours and those they target, delving into underlying drivers of the behaviour and the risks of persistence and escalation.
Her extensive practical experience includes:
• Being the Foundation Manager of the Problem Behaviour Program at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare), where she supported the development of treatment programs for violent offenders, sexual offenders, stalkers, threateners and vexatious complainants.
• In her work at Forensicare and Code Black, undertaking assessments of hundreds of offenders and alleged perpetrators. This includes cases heard at every level of the state criminal courts, including the Children’s Court criminal divisions, and consultancy work for legal firms, universities, health services and government agencies.
• Being an experienced expert witness, including in many Child Protection cases, and being recognised by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice as a ‘go to’ clinician for the most challenging cases.
She is also recognised in the Multiple and Complex Needs Initiative (MACNI) program for cutting through in cases where other clinicians have struggled, such as concerns about radicalisation. Lisa is proficient in the application of the Structured Professional Judgement (SPJ) model and associated risk evaluations tools, their uses and limitations. This includes cultural considerations around violence risk and the development of tools for specialist groups, such as the fixated. Lisa also has an interest in family violence, which has seen her develop the first post-graduate unit on contemporary research and practice in family violence in Australia for the Masters of Mental Health Science at Monash University. Lisa has trained clinicians, lawyers, magistrates, threat assessors, academics and executives in these fields in threat management and the use of the SPJ tools for violence and stalking risk. She has also developed policies and operations manuals in these areas.
In Lisa’s international experience, she:
• Works closely with colleagues from the United States, Canada and Europe, including the authors of the Terrorist Radicalisation Assessment Protocol.
• Was also the Foundation President of the Asia Pacific Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (APATAP).
• Has collaborated with the European Threat Assessment Professionals (AETAP) on developing professional standards for threat managers.
• Has presented at American Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) conferences and is a Senior Editor for the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management. Lisa’s research work has focused on those who utter explicit threats, triage in threat management, and the association between homicide and suicide.
Current projects include:
• Population-based studies in collaboration with Sweden’s Karolinska Institute. A review of threat management practices with the FBI in the United States.
• An examination of the association between homicide and suicide with the National Coroner’s Office.
Lisa has an ongoing interest in professional ethics and is the Chair of the Australian Psychological Society Ethics Committee.