VIRTUAL-Understanding, Managing, and Treating Suicidal Behavior

VIRTUAL-Thursday, November 16, 2023, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM-$109 including CEUs
Understanding, Managing, and Treating Suicidal Behavior
Barent Walsh, Ph.D.

The field of suicide prevention is evolving with important new empirically supported theories and interventions. This workshop will review major recent innovations including:

  • Theories to explain suicide
  • Safety plans to assist individuals in managing suicide urges
  • Treatments to resolve or at least neutralize suicidality
At the outset, Joiner’s Acute Suicidal Affective Disturbance (ASAD; 2015) will be discussed. The ASAD identifies four key dimensions which have been empirically validated to predict imminent risk of suicide. The ASAD will be explicated in detail with illustrative case examples.
Next, Stanley and Brown’s important Safety Plan will be discussed (Brown, 2015). This empirically supported method for dealing with suicide thoughts and urges is the best currently available. The phone app version will also be addressed. This part of the discussion will also review accommodations related to the pandemic and social isolation.

The presentation will move to discussing more long-term trajectories for suicidality. Joiner’s “Interpersonal Theory of Suicide,” (ITP) will be emphasized (Joiner, 2005, Chu, 2017). The theory identifies: 1) acquired fearlessness, 2) perceived burdensomeness, and 3) thwarted belongingness as the three necessary and sufficient conditions for a suicide to occur.  Joiner’s ITP is arguably the most influential, empirically validated theory of suicide in the world.
In addition, Klonsky’s Three Step Theory of Suicide (2015; 2021) will be explicated. This empirically supported theory includes useful enhancements to Joiner’s Interpersonal Theory.
This workshop will also review Jobes’ Collaboration Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS; 2016). This evidence-based approach will be discussed with an emphasis on Jobes’ pragmatic guidelines including the use of crisis response plans, coping cards, and survival kits.
Finally, the workshop will conclude with a focus on what it takes for caregivers to “sit with misery,” and the self-care required to do so.

Following this presentation, participants will be able to:
  • To understand the entire spectrum of self-destructive behavior
  • To be able to distinguish suicide from NSSI
  • To be able to employ the ASAD in real world situations
  • To understand and be able to use Stanley and Brown’s Safety Plan.
  • To understand Joiner and Klonsky’s theories of suicide
  • To be able to employ basic aspects of Jobes’ CAMS
  • To understand how to use the Five Steps in addressing unhelpful, irrational thoughts that support self-destructive behavior.

Barent Walsh, Ph.D. Barent Walsh, Ph.D. has written extensively and presented internationally on the topic of self-destructive behavior. He is the author of three books on non-suicidal self-injury, including Treating Self-Injury: A Practical Guide 2nd edition, Guilford Press, (2014). This volume has been translated into Japanese, Korean, Dutch and Polish.

Dr. Walsh is Executive Director Emeritus and Senior Clinical Consultant at Open Sky Community Services, a human service agency headquartered in Worcester, MA. Dr. Walsh is also a Lecturer on Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School at Cambridge Health Alliance, Cambridge, MA.

Dr. Walsh received the following recognition in 2021:

“On behalf of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury (ISSS) Board of Directors, we would like to honour your extensive contributions to the field by inviting you to be an Invited Fellow of ISSS. This invitation reflects the highest recognition of your many contributions to the field, notably your seminal work and publications in the areas of assessment and treatment of self-injury.”

Dr. Walsh’s most recent publication is: Walsh, B.W., Doerfler, L.A. & Van Hove, L. (2023). Understanding and Treating Atypical, Severe Nonsuicidal Self-Injury. In The Oxford Handbook of Nonsuicidal Self-Injury. Lloyd-Richardson, E., Baetens, I. & Whitlock. J. Oxford University Press. 



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