This work approaches the mind of the suicidal person from the
perspective of a person on a dark journey that involves the suicide
life story, stress and problems of living, dark ideas, dark
emotions, dark physiology, hopelessness, and psychache. The work of
the psychotherapist is to join the suicidal person on the dark
journey, understand from the person's experience how suicide has
come to make experiential sense, and finally affirm and validate
the dark journey. In so doing, the psychotherapist builds a healing
relationship that offers hope, relief, and skills to redirect the
journey to one of light, hope, and possibilities.
A multimodal, stage process model of suicide risk assessment and
intervention is provided to guide the therapist. Case vignettes are
used to illustrate the application of this model to therapeutic
practice. Finally, the critical areas of risk management and
self-care for the psychotherapist are covered to protect him or her
from the emotional and legal challenges of this most difficult
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