Assessment and Intervention with Suicidal Clients Volume 2
by John Sommers-Flanagan
In this, the second of a captivating three-volume series, John Sommers-Flanagan masterfully teaches us through live clinical demonstration how to effectively and collaboratively assess and intervene with suicidal clients at different phases of life. First he works with a 15-year-old experiencing stress from her parents’ marital conflict, then a middle aged woman who recently lost her husband to illness, and finally an intensely suicidal 40-year-old.
In Volume 2 of this comprehensive and highly acclaimed series, you’ll see Dr. Sommers-Flanagan conduct initial sessions with:
  • Kennedy, a 15-year-old high school student and youngest of three who is experiencing the unbearable stress of her parents’ marital conflict and associated tension within the home.
  • Jeannie, a middle-aged woman who is approaching retirement while also grieving the recent death of her second husband to illness. 
  • Kay, a deeply distressed and intensely suicidal 40-year-old who struggles with tormenting memories, thoughts, and feelings related to her deceased schizophrenic mother. 
Sommers-Flanagan will teach you how to assess and intervene collaboratively with your suicidal clients by tapping into both their internal coping skills and external resources. Working from a deeply empathetic therapeutic foundation, he offers highly concrete strategies for use during both assessment and early treatment. You will learn how to implement the “Mood Rating Scale with a Suicide Floor” to determine changes in your client’s emotional status as they relate to self-harm. As he models use of the “Suicide Rating Form,” you will develop strategies for accurately assessing your client’s risk for suicide. Finally, you will acquire skills for building a safety plan with your suicidal clients that includes creation of a safe environment, recognizing warning signs, identifying peer and community resources, and choosing an alternative environment.  
In Depth
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CE Test
Have you felt overwhelmed and anxious in your work or at the prospect of working with suicidal clients, particularly younger ones? Psychologist and counselor educator John Sommers-Flanagan’s expertise in the field of suicidology is exactly what you need to improve your confidence and competence with suicidal clients.

Sommers-Flanagan believes that it is important to demystify suicide and to engage openly and directly with clients. Working from a deeply empathetic therapeutic foundation, he offers highly concrete strategies for use during both assessment and early treatment. You will learn how to implement the ‘Mood Rating Scale with a Suicide Floor’ to determine changes in your client’s emotional status as they relate to self-harm. As he models use of the ‘Suicide Rating Form,’ you will develop strategies for accurately assessing your client’s risk for suicide. Finally, you will acquire skills for building a ‘Safety Plan’ with your suicidal clients that includes creation of a safe environment, recognizing warning signs, identifying peer and community resources, and choosing an alternative environment.

Some clients actively plan suicide while others simply wish to die. They struggle under the crushing weight of guilt, self-hatred, or have simply lost hope. For some clients, suicidality is rooted in existential dilemmas while for others it is related to concrete and immediate stressors. Regardless of the type of suicidality and/or its imminence, Sommers-Flanagan will expand your clinical flexibility by teaching you how to triage these clients and the issues that undermine their will to live. You will integrate effective strategies into your own treatment planning that are centered around externalization of suicidal thoughts, engagement with life, capitalizing on hope and faith, and strengthening family ties and support.

By watching this interview, you will be able to:
  1. Describe strategies for assessing suicidal clients’ strengths and resources, both internal and external.
  2. Acquire effective strategies for assessing and intervening with both acutely and chronically suicidal clients using the Suicide Rating Form and Mood Rating Scale with a Suicide Floor
  3. Create an effective safety plan with suicidal clients 

Length of video: 2:17:15

Number of Discs: 1

English subtitles available on: Stream, DVD

This DVD plays in All Regions

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-554-8

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-554-0

John Sommers-Flanagan, PhD, is a professor of counselor education at the University of Montana. He is also a clinical psychologist and mental health consultant with Trapper Creek Job Corps. He served as executive director of Families First Parenting Programs from 1995 to 2003 and was previously co-host of a radio talk-show on Montana Public Radio titled, “What is it with Men?”

Primarily specializing in working with children, parents, and families, John is author or coauthor of over 50 professional publications and nine books. Some of his latest books, co-written with his wife Rita, include How to Listen so Parents will Talk and Talk so Parents will Listen (John Wiley & Sons, 2011) and Counseling and Psychotherapy Theories in Context and Practice (2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2012), Clinical Interviewing (5th ed., Wiley, 2014), and Tough Kids, Cool Counseling (2nd ed., ACA, 2007). In his wild and precious spare time, John loves to run (slowly), dance (poorly), laugh (loudly) and produce home-made family music videos.

CE credits: 2

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe strategies for assessing suicidal clients’ strengths and resources, both internal and external.
  • Acquire effective strategies for assessing and intervening with both acutely and chronically suicidal clients using the Suicide Rating Form and Mood Rating Scale with a Suicide Floor
  • Create an effective safety plan with suicidal clients
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