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ERIC Number: EJ1016283
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1546-2781
Best Practice Clinical Interventions for Working with Suicidal Adults
Bartlett, Mary L.; Siegfried, Nicole; Witte, Tracy K.
Alabama Counseling Association Journal, v38 n2 spec iss p65-79 2012
Drawing from existing empirical literature, this article examines best practices for working with adults who are in suicidal crisis. An explanation of suicidal thinking and how to assess for suicidality is provided, and specific clinical interventions and techniques that have been empirically evidenced as useful with this population are highlighted. Based on the premise that understanding the suicidal mind leads to more effective intervention, a consideration of psychache as the basis for behavior in suicidal clients is discussed. Finally, dialectical behavioral therapy, problem solving therapy, and cognitive therapy are examined as mechanisms for addressing the needs of suicidal clients, with a consideration of specific counseling techniques available and effective within those contexts. Working with suicidal clients is challenging. Given that more suicidal clients at moderate and high levels of risk are being treated in outpatient facilities, often by overworked or undertrained counselors, it becomes critical for persons treating such clients to be familiar with the latest empirical developments in this area. Counselors often report struggling to understand suicide, to assess suicidality in their clients, and to properly classify suicide risk level. Further, utilizing empirically-evidenced interventions represents the present standard of care in this area but are commonly misunderstood and underused. (Contains 3 figures.)
Alabama Counseling Association. 217 Daryle Street, Livingston, AL 35470. Tel: 888-655-5460; Tel: 205-652-1712; Fax: 205-652-1576; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A