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The Psychotherapy Curriculum


Being able to assess suicidal risk is probably the most important single thing therapists need to be able to do. Our speakers in this program share their knowledge regarding this important subject. (These interviews are remastered and recompiled from other programs)

Program Description

There’s little more terrifying to a therapist then the thought of patient suicide. The alarming reality is any therapist involved in direct patient care is likely to have this experience. For psychologists, the chance of losing a patient to suicide is greater than 1 in 5. For the average psychiatrist, the odds are greater than 50/50. While death by suicide is as old as mankind, the study of suicide prevention is a fairly recent phenomenon. Our speakers in this program are in the forefront of studying the two age groups at highest risk, adolescents and the elderly. Additionally, we tackle the topic of manipulative suicide threats. How do we know when the patient is serious? We’ll learn about suicide, its causes, its risk factors, and prevention.

Learning Objectives

This program provides clinicians with the opportunity to:

Be able to recognize the role of depression as a cause of adolescent suicide.

Understand the role of relationships as a factor in assessing and preventing adolescent and elderly suicide.

Translate these understandings into practical treatment considerations.

Recognize some of the pros and cons about euthanasia.

Learn to elicit suicide ideation, behavior, and plans.

Be able to make a clinical judgment of the risk that a client will attempt or complete suicide in the short- and long-term.


Adolescent Suicide - Rick Ostrander, Ed.D.

Any therapist involved in direct patient care has a 1 in 5 chance of losing a patient to suicide during the course of his or her professional career. Psychotherapists who study suicidal behavior in young people have uncovered many clues that can help mental health professionals take appropriate action to prevent a suicide. Dr. Ostrander discusses how to assess and prevent suicide in adolescents.

Elderly Suicide - Nancy Osgood, Ph.D.

In this interview, we look at current knowledge about suicidal behavior in the elderly and translate this knowledge nto practical treatment considerations.

Manipulative Suicide Threats - Robert Yufit, Ph.D.

Suicide and death pose significant challenges for loved ones and survivors. Assessing suicide talk is one of the most anxiety-ridden tasks of psychotherapy because we can't afford to be wrong. Plus, the bereaved's intense grief can be overwhelming to their loved ones and even the therapist.

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