Division 12 Section on Clinical Emergencies and Crises (SECTION VII) Statement of Purpose

The Section on Clinical Emergencies and Crises (Section VII of the APA Society of Clinical Psychology [Division 12]) was formed to advance clinical practice, research, education, and training in the area of service referred to as behavioral emergencies.

Behavioral emergencies include the imminent risk of suicide, the imminent risk of other-directed violence, and the imminent risk of interpersonal victimization. They are among the few clinical conditions that confront practicing psychologists with decisions that can have life-threatening consequences. The Section has had a particular focus on encouraging health service psychology graduate and internship programs to enhance education and training in the assessment and management of these patient behaviors that can have fatal consequences for the patient and/or others as well as having a significant emotional impact on the patient’s family and friends, the clinician him or herself, and the psychologist’s clinic or treatment program.