Disclosure: I do not have any relevant financial / non-financial relationships with any proprietary interests.
America is in the midst of a suicide crisis. Earlier this year, the Center for Disease Control released statistics showing that the rate of suicide increased by 33% between 1999 and 2017. Since 2008, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for all ages. That rate only increases when there is a history of childhood abuse and neglect. However, as therapists most of us received little, if any training, about how to manage a suicidal crisis. Most of the training that is available focuses on ‘fixing’ the problem of suicide through prediction and prevention techniques.
In this presentation we will ask our participants to re-consider current understanding of suicidal behaviors as the problem, and demonstrate through case examples, how suicidality holds meaning for our clients, that requires exploration. We will present techniques to help clinicians work through the many emotional, practical, and ethical problems that can arise from an acute or chronic suicidal crisis. We hope that clinicians will leave with a new language and tools for a new kind of conversation about suicide, one that leaves both survivor and therapist with a sense of hope, in what has traditionally been a hopelessness inducing experience.
Identify three current narratives that make working through a suicidal crisis so difficult for both clinicians and survivors of abuse and neglect
Identify and describe how suicidal behaviors serve as a complex coping mechanism for survivors of abuse and neglect
Describe to survivors of abuse and neglect how to reframe the suicidal crisis by identifying the underlying meaning and opening up a different kind of dialogue