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Preventing Suicide - the Solution Focused Approach 2E


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Table of Contents

About the author vii Foreword ix Acknowledgments xi 1 How to use this book 1 2 The book's style and purpose 4 3 Defining suicide and self ]injury 24 4 Current service provision: risk assessment, management and medication 32 5 Other approaches to helping the suicidal 49 6 What is Solution Focused Brief Therapy? 70 7 Suicide encounters: the crucial first ten minutes 112 8 The solution focused approach in working with the suicidal 123 9 Case study: Reg and `the demons calling from the deep' 152 10 Some more case vignettes 175 11 Connecting with people by Alys Cole-King 185 12 Working on the phone with the suicidal person 199 13 Blaming those who took their lives 208 14 International solution focused applications to suicide prevention 215 15 Zero suicide: should this be our goal? 245 16 Where do we go from here? 253 Appendix 1: Flow diagram for an episode of treatment 264 Appendix 2: Specialist solution focused training workshops 268 Appendix 3: Evidence base for solution ]focused working 270 References 278 Index 314

About the Author

John Henden is Managing Director of the John Henden Consultancy and an internationally acclaimed trainer, author, therapist and performance coach. He has more than 40 years of experience working within mental health services as both a practitioner and manager.


John Henden's approach to suicide prevention marks a pivotal moment in the treatment of suicidal clients and, by extension, of depressed clients in general. Full of practical, ready-to-use advice, it should be read by every practitioner who wants to help these clients turn despair into hope. Preventing Suicide is a hands-on guide for the practitioner who is confronted with a depressed and suicidal client and who despairs of finding the right words, the right attitude to turn their heart and their mind towards renewed hope and a life worth living. If ever you have felt, like I did many times, as hopeless as the client before you who has attempted suicide and was saved, and who still sees no other way out but to end their lives, this is the book for you. Scientifically sound and eminently practical, this book will guide you through what in my experience are the most challenging moments a practitioner has to go through. Dr. Luc Isebaert, Honorary Head of Department of Psychiatry, Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende Hospital This extensively revised second edition is a worthy successor to the original version. It addresses the place of counselling and psychological therapies in the attempt to reduce suicidal behaviours. After a clear and logical description of the problem, the text describes the solution-focused method of working, including case examples and a discussion of effectiveness. There is an excellent review of suicide around the world, quoting from the author's personal knowledge of many countries. Finally, it summarises the progress so far of the Zero Suicide programme as presented in the United Kingdom. Dr. Alasdair MacDonald, MB ChB, Consultant Psychiatrist and author of Solution-focused Therapy: Theory, Research and Practice John's ground-breaking book is a must have for practitioners who work with suicide. It has international appeal as a practical guide and offers a collection of best practices in the field, case vignettes, tools and tips, and a compelling case for the "zero suicide" initiative. Debbie Hogan, MS, Therapist, Trainer, Director, Academy of Solution Focused Training, Singapore Solution Focused Therapy is a radical and vital non-pathologizing approach for helping people who are suicidal, giving them hope, a positive caring relationship and a set of tools for moving onward. In this new, expanded edition, John Henden looks at wider issues concerning suicide and presents Solution Focused Therapy in the context of other recognised approaches, including a review of all the latest evidence of effectiveness. Strongly recommended. Harry Procter, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Hertfordshire, UK

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