Division 12 Section on Clinical Emergencies and Crises (Section VII)

Past President
Secretary / Treasurer
Section Representative

Marc Hillbrand, Ph.D.
Phillip M. Kleespies, Ph.D.
Danny Zamir, Psy.D.
Melissa Yanovitch, Psy.D.
Anders Goranson, Psy.D.

The following individuals have been President of the Section:

Phillip M. Kleespies, Ph.D. (2000)
Robert I. Yufit, Ph.D. (2001)
Dale McNiel, Ph.D. (2002)
Bruce Bongar, Ph.D. (2003)
Alan (Lanny) Berman, Ph.D. (2004)
Dean Kilpatrick, Ph.D. (2005)
Alec L. Miller, Psy.D. (2006)
M. David Rudd, Ph.D. (2007)
James R. Rogers, Ph.D. (2008)
Anthony Spirito, Ph.D. (2009)
Michael L. Hendricks, Ph.D. (2010)
Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. (2011)
David J. Drummond, Ph.D. (2012)
James L. Werth, Jr., Ph.D. (2013)
Anders Goranson, Psy.D. (2014-2016)
Danny Zamir, Psy.D. (2016-2017)
Marc Hillbrand, Ph.D. (2018-2019)

Section Formation

The Section on Clinical Emergencies and Crises (Section VII of the APA Society of Clinical Psychology) was formed to advance clinical practice, research, education, and training in the area of practice referred to as behavioral emergencies; i.e., the assessment and management of patient suicide risk, patient risk of violence, and patient risk of interpersonal victimization. The Section has had a particular focus on encouraging graduate and internship programs for health service psychologists to address the gap in training in this critical area of service that involves patient life-threatening behaviors. The Section has also been involved in projects such as a collaboration with the APA’s Advisory Committee on Colleague Assistance (ACCA) in the development of a brochure on office safety and minimizing the risk of patient-clinician violence. This brochure was posted on the websites of ACCA and Division 12. Further, when two psychologist suicides were featured in the media and brought to the attention of ACCA, Section VII was asked to participate in a conjoint subcommittee to investigate the status of suicides among psychologists. The subcommittee reviewed the (limited) extant literature on suicide rates for psychologists, evaluated unpublished data on psychologist suicide provided by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), interviewed colleagues of 14 psychologists who had reportedly died by suicide, reviewed published case reports of the impact of therapist suicides on patients or clients, and linked their findings to the literature on professional distress, impairment, and self-care. The subcommittee concluded its work by summarizing their findings in an article published in the journal Professional Psychology: Research and Practice (Kleespies, et al., 2011). The article included suggestions for prevention, intervention, and postvention. In addition, in 2012, Division 12 asked the Section to recommend resources on suicide risk assessment and violence risk assessment to be included in the Division 12 Clinician’s Toolkit on the Division’s website. The Section responded by developing two documents on these topics that were included in the Toolkit.