Safety Planning with Suicidal Clients
by John Sommers-Flanagan

Mastery in Minutes

Learn skills for building an effective safety plan with your suicidal clients that includes the creation of a safe environment, recognizing warning signs, identifying peer and community resources, and choosing an alternative environment.
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“No-suicide contracts are out, safety planning is in.” Working with suicidal clients is the single greatest clinical and ethical challenge faced by any therapist. The traditionally used no-suicide contract—while a comfort for therapists—has not proven to be an effective clinical tool. In this short video suicide expert John Sommers Flanagan demonstrates a more effective alternative: Collaborative Safety Planning.

Watch Flanagan as he works with 15-year-old Kennedy to develop a practical plan to mitigate her active suicidal ideation. See how much better it feels, and how well the client responds to a truly collaborative effort versus a top-down "contractual" approach. By watching this live demonstration you will learn how to integrate this highly-effective tool into your own treatment planning that is centered around externalization of suicidal thoughts, engagement with life, capitalizing on hope and faith, and strengthening family ties and support. presents Mastery in Minutes

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Available only to our members and subscribers. Find out how to access this video for individual use, for more than one person using multiple-user access, or for use in academic institutions.

Length of video: 0:12:51

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-576-9

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-576-2

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.
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