Abstract

The treatment of suicidal individuals requires special attention to therapist interventions that promote a viable treatment alliance in the context of shared responsibilities for patient safety. Three core principles in the treatment process (alliance building, enhancing curiosity about the function of suicidal thoughts and urges, as well as enhancing experience and expression of intense emotions) are articulated and brief case vignettes are used to illuminate the principles. Results from open trails and randomized control trials involving suicidal patients are examined to support the evidence-based practice of these principles. The overarching principle undergirding the utility of the principles is a collaborative joining with the patient to decrease isolation and alienation when facing intense and overwhelming emotions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-272
Number of pages5
JournalPsychotherapy
Volume50
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Keywords

  • Expression of affect
  • Radical curiosity
  • Suicide risk
  • Therapeutic alliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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