When Push Comes to Shove

Aggressive Community Treatment and the Law
  • Jessica Wilen Berg
  • Richard J. Bonnie
Part of the The Springer Series in Social Clinical Psychology book series (SSSC)


Previous chapters have identified some interventionist features of mental health practice in the community that lead practitioners or observers to describe them as “aggressive” or “assertive” or “tenacious.” The purpose of this chapter is to consider the legal implications of these practices. This is unexplored terrain, so our goal is a modest one: We aim to sketch a framework, and offer a conceptual vocabulary, for thinking about these practices and for connecting them to established legal ideas. By identifying possible concerns, we do not aim to raise objections to aggressive community treatment. To the contrary, we recognize the benevolent aims of most interventions as well as their value in a community treatment model. Our purpose in identifying possible legal or ethical concerns is to heighten practitioners’ awareness of potential conflicts and, in this way, to help them shape appropriate guidelines.


Mental Health Treatment Treatment Provider Outreach Worker Homeless Person Community Mental Health Service 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Wilen Berg
    • 1
  • Richard J. Bonnie
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Massachusetts Medical CenterWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.School of LawUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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