HHC – Suicide Prevention – Part 1 – Mindfulness, Acceptance, and Compassion
Suicide risk is a high-stress topic that can strain relationships, whether within the family, among friends, or between therapist and client. With all good intentions, one’s determination to save a life can translate into a tug-of-war that promotes conflict rather than collaborative problem-solving. This presentation will summarize recent developments in the fields of psychotherapy and suicidology that show the potential of a mindful acceptance perspective for sustaining an alliance between a suicidal individual and his or her supporters. Various examples of strategies will be discussed, notably ways of maintaining compassion and communicating this to an individual in distress. Thomas E. Ellis, PsyD, ABPP, and Director of Psychology at Menninger, Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine Thomas E. Ellis, PsyD, ABPP, is Director of Psychology at the Menninger Clinic and Professor of Psychiatry in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin and his doctorate at Baylor University. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Clinical and Psychotherapy Divisions) and Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology (Cognitive Behavior Therapy). He is a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and Associate Fellow of the Albert Ellis Institute. His research and publications focus primarily on the problem of suicide, including cognitive characteristics of suicidal individuals and the effectiveness of suicide-specific therapeutic interventions. His books include Suicide Risk: Assessment and Response Guidelines (with W. Fremouw and M. dePerczel, 1990), Choosing to Live: How to Defeat Suicide through Cognitive Therapy (with C. Newman, 1996), and Cognition and Suicide: Theory, Research, and Practice (2006). He is the 2011 recipient of the Roger J. Tierney Award from the American Association of Suicidology, in recognition of distinguished contributions to the organization and the field of suicidology.