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Helping the Suicidal Person provides a highly practical toolbox for mental health professionals. The book first covers the need for professionals to examine their own personal experiences and fears around suicide, moves into essential areas of risk assessment, safety planning, and treatment planning, and then provides a rich assortment of tips for reducing the person's suicidal danger and rebuilding the wish to live. The techniques described in the book can be interspersed into any type of therapy, no matter what the professional's theoretical orientation is and no matter whether it's the client's first, tenth, or one-hundredth session. Clinicians don't need to read this book in any particular order, or even read all of it. Open the book to any page, and find a useful tip or technique that can be applied immediately.
Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, is an associate professor at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. Her psychotherapy and consulting practice focuses on suicide assessment and intervention.