2.00 CE Credits Available
Assessment and Intervention with Suicidal Clients Volume 3
by John Sommers-Flanagan
In this, the third in an absorbing three-volume series, John Sommers-Flanagan and colleagues teach you to effectively assess and intervene with suicidal clients of varying beliefs, cultures and worldviews. He works with a suicidal gay male, and supplemental expert interviews discuss suicide in Asian-American and other cultures and coping strategies for families that have lost a loved one to suicide.
In this 3rd and final volume of this comprehensive and highly acclaimed series, Sommers-Flanagan addresses the issue of acute suicidality as he works with a 35-year-old white gay male who is socially isolated, hopeless, and with access to lethal means. You will develop a deeper clinical appreciation for issues such as balancing a client’s autonomy with the duty to protect, the intergenerational transmission of trauma, incorporating hospitalization into treatment planning, and appropriate referral of suicidal clients.

Supplemental expert interviews cover the issues of suicide in Asian-American cultures, the challenge of effectively assessing suicidal minority youth, and coping strategies for family members who have lost loved ones to suicide.
By urging you to replace your pencils and laptops with deep human connection, Sommers-Flanagan leads to appreciate the role of shame and saving face when working with suicidal Asian-American clients and their families. He teaches how to ask concrete and specific questions about suicide, and you will acquire skills for establishing meaningful therapeutic contact with minority youth in a variety of settings. By understanding the impact of bullying, social alienation and stigma on gender development, you will be able to more effectively assess suicidal LGBT clients. And finally, you will learn to clinically negotiate the delicate balance between the will to live and the urge to die with clients who have lost a loved one to suicide.
In Depth
CE Test
In this video, we first watch Victor Yalom interview Dr. Rona Hu, Medical Director of the Acute Inpatient Unit at Stanford. Her expertise in Asian-American mental health issues guides her in culturally-sensitive methods of assessment and early intervention. She instructs us how to factor Asian beliefs around collectivism, shame and saving face into our assessment of a suicidal client within the family context.

Then Sommers-Flanagan interviews Murray Pierce, a minority student advisor at the University of Montana and juvenile probation officer. Mr. Pierce identifies some of the unique challenges of engaging and supporting minority youth and their families in the suicide assessment and early intervention process.

In the next brief segment. Sommers-Flanagan works with Connie, a middle-aged white woman and suicide teacher-educator, whose husband committed suicide four years before. While the emotional intensity around suicide still challenges Connie, Sommers-Flanagan offers useful suggestions and strategies to help her cope with lingering feelings of pain and guilt, including self-forgiveness.

In the final, and perhaps most compelling of all the demonstrations, Sommers-Flanagan compassionately zeroes in on suicide with Chase, a 35-year-old white gay male whose distress is unbearable and who is imminently suicidal. Socially isolated, hopeless, in acute emotional pain, and with access to lethal means, Chase finally yet reluctantly agrees to collaborating with Sommers-Flanagan on a plan that begins with hospitalization.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for assessing and treating the suicidal client. Each and every one challenges us to with their symptoms and stories as we seemingly race against the clock to understand and help. Sommers-Flanagan has spent his career learning from, teaching about and treating clients along the broad spectrum of suicidality. Through these incisive clinical demonstrations and enlightening interviews, he will help you hone your knowledge and clinical sensitivity so that you may effectively intervene at the intersection of suicidality and client diversity.

By watching this interview, you will:
  1. Describe the full range of interventions in suicide from assessment through hospitalization
  2. Articulate the challenges to effectively assessing minority and LGBT clients 
  3. Explain how Asian values and beliefs impact suicide assessment and treatment

Length of video: 2:04:50

English subtitles available

Group ISBN-10 #: 1-60124-555-6

Group ISBN-13 #: 978-1-60124-555-7

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 start-to-finish interventions for suicidal clients
  • Discuss the challenges to effectively assessing minority and LGBT clients
  • Explain how Asian values and beliefs impact suicide assessment and treatment

Bibliography available upon request

This course is offered for ASWB ACE credit for social workers. See complete list of CE approvals here

© 2018

Course Reviewed January 2024

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