Skip to content

(Darlington) Dealing with Distress: Working with Self-Harm and Suicide

“Suicide is a calamity of the inner world, where feelings, memories, and beliefs may brew up hurricane winds of anguish powerful enough to blow someone away.” – John Maltsberger After suicide, there are no second chances. We can’t go back and try a different, or better way, of supporting someone to see if that works instead. We may have just the one chance to get it right, and none of us wants to get it wrong. “No one is killing themselves on my watch!” we may vow. And yet a million people worldwide kill themselves each year. If a million people every year died as a result of terrorism, imagine the outcry, the public attention, the funding, and the need for a solution. Research reveals a fair bit about the risk factors for suicide. But does that information enable us to predict with any accuracy whether our client, or friend, or family member will attempt to kill themselves? This course will look at a variety of issues around self-harm and suicidality, specifically behaviours resulting from states of extreme distress linked to trauma. The aim of the day is to build your confidence in working with or supporting people who are severely distressed, and to equip you to work as effectively as possible to promote recovery and healing from this distress, so that self-harm and suicide are no longer seen as ‘the only way out’. We’ll look at questions such as: * How can you tell if someone is imminently suicidal – is it even possible? – and what should you then do about it? * How can we help someone who is suicidal without getting stuck in a battle of life and death? * Is someone suicidal ‘mentally ill’? Do they have ‘mental capacity’? * Why do some people self-harm? Is it just ‘attention-seeking’? In what way might it make sense at a neurobiological level? * Does self-harm increase or decrease the risk of completed suicide? * Do policies to prevent suicide actually work? Or might they actually be increasing the risk? * How can we help people who are in severe distress without them becoming too ‘dependent’? * Do we have a duty to report suicidal intentions, and what are the legal ramifications if we don’t? * Does hospitalisation work? Or does it make things worse? * What can we actually DO to help people feel better? This course, aimed principally at counsellors and psychotherapists, but also suitable for a wide range of professionals and indeed anyone supporting survivors of trauma, will look at how to work safely and effectively with self-harm and suicide: to cope with crisis and deal with distress. This will be a day full of hope from recovery from even extreme and enduring states of distress. Attendees of this course will receive a CPD certificate for 6 hours, along with an extensive delegate pack including a free resource related to the course.