Assessment and Treatment of Suicidality: A Psychological Approach
A one day workshop with Dr Eoin Galavan
The effective assessment of Suicidality and its treatment can be overwhelmingly anxiety provoking for therapists. Over the last two decades, new psychological theories of suicidal behaviour have been described with evidence to support their credibility. New models of treatment and techniques have been designed to help aid those of us who encounter suicidality in our work. This practical and therapeutically inclined one day workshop by Dr Eoin Galavan, which will be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists, CBT practitioners, psychiatrists and counsellors, overviews current psychological research and clinical approaches to managing suicidality, with specific emphasis on explaining the therapeutic approach of the evidence-based model: Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS) (authored by Professor David Jobes). The one day workshop first introduces the psychology of suicide, and then proceeds to overview, demonstrate, and allow practice of the CAMS model.
By the end of the workshop, participants will:
- Gain familiarity with psychological theories of suicide and suicidal behaviour (including an understanding of the works of Professor Thomas Joiner, Professor Edwin Scheidman, Professor Israel Orbach and Professor David Jobes)
- Be able to identify suicidal risk early in the clinical engagement and use the Suicide Status Form (SSF) to collaboratively assess suicidal risk
- Develop SSF-based suicide specific outpatient treatment plans that emphasize the development of a stabilization plan and the identification of suicidal ‘drivers’ as a focus of treatment
- Clinically track, assess and treat drivers with problem-focused interventions
- Be able to prepare a stabilisation or crisis response plan
- Handle and document a range of clinical outcomes using CAMS
Overall, the workshop helps us as practitioners to comprehend the myriad challenges stemming from the client’s suicidal wish, provides us with a working model of handling suicidality in our therapeutic relationships and familiarises us with evidence-based therapeutic techniques that are at the cutting edge of our work.
About the speaker
Dr Eoin Galavan is a qualified and registered Clinical and Counselling Psychologist. He has provided extensive training in the use of the CAMS model to hundreds of therapists and mental health professionals in a variety of settings. Dr Galavan is the Clinical Lead on the SATS, providing treatment based on the CAMS model to suicidal patients in his daily clinical practice. He is a Senior Supervising Psychologist, Clinical Tutor and lecturer on the D.Clin.Psych. training program at Trinity College Dublin. Dr Galavan is also a trained DBT therapist and former team leader on the North Dublin ‘Evolve’ DBT program. He is a Senior Clinical Psychologist in the Health Service Executive working in both community based and acute Adult Mental Health clinical environments. He is the CAMS representative in Ireland, licensed to research the CAMS model, a consultant with CAMS-care and the North Dublin Suicide Assessment and Treatment Service is providing data from its CAMS clinical outcomes to a major international study being led by Professor David Jobes, CUA.
10:00AM Session 1. The Psychology of Suicide and the Therapeutic Relationship
The first session will provide an overview of recent theory & research regarding the psychology of suicide and suicidal behaviour. In particular we will focus on the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide as outlined by Professor Thomas Joiner. This theory posits three elements:
• perceived burdensomeness
• thwarted connectedness and
• the acquired capacity for enacting lethal self-injury
We will also explore and comprehend the practical concepts explained by Professor Edwin Scheidman, Professor Israel Orbach and Professor David Jobes through case studies and examples.
11:30AM Coffee Break
11:45AM Session 2: Introducing the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality and Risk Assessment (CAMS)
In this session we look at the practical implications of the CAMS model. This model includes thorough risk assessment, risk management and risk tracking elements, as well as treatment planning, while being embedded in a pragmatic, problem solving and therapeutic philosophy. An overview of the Suicide Status Form (initial assessment form) will also be discussed – which details the essential elements of the model.
1:00PM: Lunch (a light lunch is provided as part of the workshop)
1:45PM: Session 3: Demonstration Role Play with Q&A
In this session, the impact of suicidality on the therapeutic relationship will be explored. In particular, we will explore the challenge of retaining an empathic focus on the suicidal wish while also managing the risk of lethal self-injury. Societal expectations, legal considerations and organisational policies regarding suicide also have an impact on the therapeutic relationship, sometimes creating impossible expectations and demands for therapists. These will be explored in the context of maintaining a therapeutic alliance.
3:00PM: Coffee Break
3:15PM Session 4: Practice Role Play, Discussion, Feedback
The final session brings the workshop to a close with practical hands-on role plays for attendees with the procedures to be followed for CAMS.
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