I’m hugely interested in working with risk, I’ve been learning from others and writing about risk and suicide ideation for nearly 25 years.
As a trainee counsellor I experienced the suicide of a client. This had a hugely traumatic impact on me and for quite a long period of time I was unable to sit with risk again.
I hope that, regardless of your personal experiences and knowledge of working with clients at risk of suicide, this selection of resources will stimulate your thinking and help to support you in your practice.
Tuning in to clients' experiences
While counsellors often need to use risk assessment forms in their work, evidence highlights the importance of being able to hear people’s experiences of suicidal thoughts. Being able to 'tune in' to thoughts and suicidal thinking can be an important way forward in helping clients move away from a suicidal place.
Working with suicidal risk
Evidence shows that counselling people who are suicidal can be an important and effective way of offering support and helping them make sense of their feelings. Considering the therapeutic process around working with suicidal risk is a critical consideration for every practitioner.
Balancing client safety and confidentiality
Working ethically around risk in counselling and psychotherapy is an imperative. These resources consider how we might respond to suicidal risk, ethically balancing the safety of the client alongside their autonomy and right to confidentiality.
Strategies for self-care
Working with suicidal potential can challenge even the most experienced practitioner, and research shows how demanding such work can be on the mental health of the counsellor. These resources offer thoughts and ideas about strategies for self-care, to support practitioner wellbeing and ensure best practice for the client.