by Robert W. Firestone, PhD and Lisa A. Firestone, PhD
Purpose: Assess the underlying thoughts that predispose violent behaviour
Age: 18 to 75 years
Time: 15 minutes
Qualification Level: A (Psychologist)
Sound theoretical basis enables the FAVT to be integrated into many therapeutic approaches, including cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), psychodynamic/psychoanalytic therapy, Separation Theory, Voice Therapy, and biological theory and psychopharmacological treatment.
The FAVT is designed to be a brief, efficient indicator of an individual's violence potential. Designed on the basic hypothesis that an individual's thought process strongly influences his or her behaviour, this self-report assessment tool measures different types of thoughts that have been found to predispose an individual to violent behaviour. It is valuable for helping clinicians to make decisions regarding safety and for separating violent individuals from prospective targets.
- Test items were taken directly from thoughts experienced by violent individuals prior to engaging in violent behaviour. Because violent individuals are able to recognise the exact content of their thoughts in the items, the FAVT taps directly into the cognitions of violent individuals.
- FAVT items are organised into five Levels (i.e., Paranoid/Suspicious, Persecuted Misfit, Self-Depreciating/Pseudo-Independent, Self-Aggrandising, Overtly Aggressive) and two Theoretical Subscales (i.e., Instrumental/Proactive Violence, Hostile/Reactive Violence). This structure enables you to gain a better understanding of the individual and, thus, to offer more targeted treatment.
- The FAVT was standardised on a sample of 639 individuals that was well-matched to the population in terms of age, gender, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, and geographic region.
- In addition, demographic and FAVT data on two reference groups (i.e., Incarcerated, Anger Management) also were collected as part of the standardisation process. These data provide you with valuable information for making level-of-care/restriction decisions and for identifying the appropriate intervention intensity.
- Two validity scales (i.e., Inconsistency Scale, Negativity Scale) are included to assist you in determining whether or not the administration is valid.
- Change score tables are provided across four different levels of significance for the four normative groups and for the two reference groups so that you can easily find out if a significant change has occurred in an individual's FAVT score over two administrations.
The FAVT is ideal for use (a) as a screening device of violence potential within normal, clinical, and forensic settings; (b) as a threat assessment measure; (c) in the identification of violent thoughts and subsequent clinical intervention; and (d) in tracking changes in behaviour over time and in response to intervention (RTI). The FAVT is directly tied to treatment because the thoughts endorsed are those that need to be addressed in treatment. In whatever modality you are working, you have an opportunity to deal directly with the thoughts that are driving your client's violent behaviour.