The impact of Tarasoff on clinical practice


  • Kathleen M. Quinn M.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University Medical School
    • Department of Child Psychiatry, 2040 Abington Road, University Hospitals, Cleveland, OH 44106
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The clinical impact of Tarasoff (1976) has meant an increased emphasis on violence as a topic in treatment and a concern for therapists. This paper discusses the limits of confidentiality and the management of dangerous patients both before and after the landmark decision of Tarasoff. The existing research surveys on therapists' responses to Tarasoff are reviewed. Some of the clinical implications of recent court cases such as Jablonski are described. Recommendations for the management of threatening patients are made.