When a Client Commits Suicide – What Happens to the Therapist?
It is well known, and documented, that clients with complex PTSD and Dissociation have a high level of suicide risk. The presence of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), suicide attempts (SA), and suicidal ideation (SI) in these clients is a constant challenge to both clients and therapists. Although the suicide of a client has been describes as “the most traumatic termination of all” (Davis, 2008), the therapist is often left with few, if any, safe ways to process the shock, grief, and complicated feelings following a client suicide. This workshop will focus on the impact of client suicide on the therapist.
This session was originally presented as a live conference session in May 2020.
At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:
- Recognize and assess for potential suicide Identify local supportive resources, for the therapist, in preparation for the possibility of a client committing suicide
- Identify the common reactions, cognitive and emotional, that challenge therapists after a client has died by suicide
- Identify ways to transform the loss into a legacy that will honor the life of the client and the work of the therapist
Presenter: Lynette Danylchuk, PhD
Presenter Bio: Lynette Danylchuk, PhD, has been working in the trauma field since mid-80, starting with Vietnam Vets and people with DID. She served 12 years on the original Board of Directors of Survivorship, and then worked for the Board of the Star Foundation for several more years. She had her private practice in San Mateo, California, where, in addition to working with clients, she did (and continues to do) periodic consultation and teaching where she sees a need, including a local graduate school, juvenile hall, or the county trauma-informed services conference. Lynette has been adjunct faculty to graduate schools in the San Francisco area where she has taught, and been a dissertation chairperson. She has given keynote speeches and workshops across the state and at annual conferences of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD).
- 1.50 APAThe International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
- 1.50 ASWB ACEThe International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), #1744, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ISSTD maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 08/20/2021 – 08/20/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1.50 continuing education credits.
- 1.50 ISSTD Certificate ProgramThis program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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