Suicide: A Global Perspective

Indexed in: Scopus, EBSCO.

In the year 2000, approximately one million people died from suicide: a "global" mortality rate of 16 per 100,000, or one death every 40 seconds. In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased ...
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Psychotherapy with Suicidal People: Some Common Factors with Attempters

Pp. 128-142 (15)

Antoon A. Leenaars

Abstract

The villain for the would-be suicide attempter is pain; clinicians need something to fight that pain, an anodyne. Psychotherapy is such; yet, to assuage the pain, the clinician primarily needs to know what he/she is treating. This paper, thus, first offers an empirical, cross-cultural perspective on that ‘what,’ illustrated with the writings of William Styron. It is argued once one understands what we are treating, effective psychotherapy comes naturally. An outline of some common factors (or commonalities) in the field of psychotherapy with suicidal people is presented. The most essential common factor is the therapeutic relationship. What is effective and what is lethal are outlined, concluding that to treat the suicidal attempter effectively, the clinician has to be person-centred, not mental disorder centred. He/she has to know whom he/she is treating; this is quality care.

Keywords:

Psychotherapy, suicide, prevention, psychological pain.

Affiliation:

1500 Ouellette Avenue, Suite 203, Windsor, ON, Canada, N8X 1K7