The Stalking Prevention Model (SPM): A Preliminary Model for Managing Client Stalking of Psychology Trainees

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Hale Martin

Second Advisor

Lavita Nadkarni

Third Advisor

Chelsea Towler Campbell


Stalking, Risk assessment, Prevention, Ethics, Safety, Decision-making


Research shows that mental health professionals (MHPs) experience higher rates of stalking than the general population. While graduate schools provide training on risk assessment, this training focuses primarily on suicide risk or threat toward a third party. Graduate schools rarely educate trainees to manage client stalking, leaving many MHPs unprepared to address this situation. Research indicates the emotional and psychological effects of client stalking can lead MHPs to leave the field. It also suggests that early detection can aid in the prevention of this relatively common occurrence. This paper examines the typologies of and risk factors for individuals who stalk. Focusing specifically on clients, trainees and supervisors at university-based training clinics, this paper works to integrate campus policy, ethical, legal and clinical considerations to inform primary and secondary prevention measures. It highlights the nuanced distinctions between transference/countertransference (T/CT) behavior and prodromal stalking, and offers a unique decision-making model (the SPM) to help trainees and supervisors navigate these challenging situations. Finally, it presents two cases that demonstrate the utility of the SPM.

Publication Statement

Copyright held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


53 pgs

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