Suicide: Implications for Counselors NBCC approved.

David Capuzzi, PhD.

Course Description

“Sure to be a landmark work, Suicide Across the Life Span represents a well articulated approach to the issue of suicide. It is the rare book that not only illuminates a field of study but also advances it through an integration of related areas that have been previously isolated from each other.”

 – Mary H. Guindon, PhD
Johns Hopkins University

The broad perspective that Dr. Capuzzi gives this topic is particularly useful when he discusses the multicultural aspects of suicide. This is valuable information that I have not seen written in such detail in any other book about suicide. I highly recommend this book to counselor educators as well as practicing counselors as it truly could save the lives of some of the clients that we work with.”

 – Pat Schwallie-Giddis, PhD
George Washington University

Suicide and suicide prevention are significant concerns for counselors working with all age groups, but many counselors do not have the formal training needed to effectively assist at-risk clients. Capuzzi and his contributors fill this training void, offering concrete directives to mental health professionals that will greatly benefit their clients. This definitive guide provides a wealth of detailed information on the risk factors for suicide; suicidal assessment; the ethical and legal issues surrounding suicide; and counseling techniques for work with children, adolescents, adults, and survivors and their families.

About Authors

David Capuzzi, PhD, is a professor and coordinator of counselor education in the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.

Learning Objectives

Describe the “sanctity of life.”

  • Define melancholia.
  • Discuss the World Health Organization findings regarding suicide.
  • Complete the statement of Yudhishthira regarding the greatest wonder in the whole world.
  • List the 4 qualities of the Western sense of a “developed” view of death.
  • List the seven components of a good death, as stated by terminally ill Chinese hospice patients.
  • Define anomia and its relation to suicide.
  • State an example of rational suicide.
  • Define a major depressive episode.
  • Describe the dysthymic disorder in children.
  • Describe the 3 steps when assessing individuals for depression.
  • Describe the “Children’s Depression Inventory.”
  • Describe the “Geriatric Depression Scale.”
  • Discuss effective techniques for treating adolescent depression.
  • Describe the work of Beck and colleagues from 1974.
  • Discuss the book titled “Suicide” by Durkheim.
  • Define disequilibrium.
  • Describe the “Hopelessness Scale.”
  • Describe the Hope Scale, devised by Snyder in 1994.
  • Define countertransference.
  • List the themes of existential counseling and what it seeks to do.
  • Describe predisposing factors and potentiating factors.
  • Discuss the study by Hemenway et al. (1993) regarding tobacco use and depression.
  • List several diseases or illnesses that put people at an increased risk for suicide.
  • Discuss the study by Silverman, Raj, Mucci, and Hathaway regarding abuse of teenage girls by boyfriends and the risk of suicide attempt and ideation.
  • State the comparison of females who attempt suicide and the males who complete it, according to Bailey, et al.
  • State how suicide ranks among seniors, according to Devons (1996).
  • Describe suicide by passivity.
  • State the two ethnic groups with the highest suicide rate in the United States according to Cameron (1999).
  • Describe the acronym M.A.P.
  • Describe the “Scale for Suicidal Ideation.”
  • Describe the third and final part of a comprehensive suicide assessment.
  • Describe the moderate suicide severity rating according to Joiner and Walker, et al. (1999).
  • Describe the “no-suicide contract.”
  • Define “passive euthanasia.”
  • State where legalized PAS is allowed.
  • List the three moral principles that guide the work of mental health professionals.
  • State the age group with the highest suicide rate in the United States.
  • List several questions you might ask a client when evaluating a request for PAS. (Jamison 1998).
  • List the five elements of malpractice and describe each.
  • List the five elements that must be proven in a professional malpractice case. (Prosser 1971).
  • State how the National Center for Health Statistics ranks suicide among 10-14-year-old children.
  • Discuss the findings of Koki (1999) regarding bullying.
  • State at what age children believe death is irreversible and the end of life.
  • Describe the technique of “scaling.”
  • State the first priority of a counselor when working with a family of a suicidal child.
  • Discuss the Surgeon General’s report (1999) regarding suicide of gay and lesbian youths.
  • State which ethnic group commits the most suicides.
  • State what method is most commonly used to complete suicide.
  • List several behavioral cues that are possible warning signs of suicidal adolescents.
  • State one of the biggest mistakes made by educators and counselors when initiating programs and services in the school and community.
  • Define the acronym F.I.D.
  • Describe a contract.
  • Discuss why a memorial service should not be conducted on the school campus after a suicide.
  • Define individuation.
  • Discuss the key components of an initial assessment.
  • Describe the “Reasons for Living” questionnaire.
  • Describe the clinical features of depression and dementia.
  • Describe the framework of suicide prevention by Stillion and McDowell (1999).
  • List the common reactions to suicide according to Hatton and McBride-Valente.
  • Define parasuicides.
  • State the most common method of treating adult suicide survivors (Lester 2001).
  • List the three guidelines to better practice culturally competent counseling.

Course Contents

  1. Background
    1. From Seneca to Suicidology: A History of Suicide
      By Mark D. Stauffer
    2. Depression and suicide
      By Jonathan W. Carrier and Kay Ennis
    3. Hope and Suicide: Establishing the Will to Live
      By Fred J. Hanna and Alan G. Green
  2. Examining the Issues Counselors Must Address
    1. Risk and Protective Factors
      By Melinda Haley
    2. Assessing Suicidal Risk
      By Jonathan W. Carrier
    3. Assisted Suicide: Ethical Issues
      By Barbara Richter Herlihy and Zarus E. P. Watson
    4. Suicide and the Law
      By Theodore P. Remley, Jr
  3. Counseling Suicidal Clients and Survivors
    1. Counseling Suicidal Children
      By Tamara Davis
    2. Counseling Suicidal Adolescents
      By David Capuzzi and Douglas R. Gross
    3. Counseling suicidal Adults: Rebuilding Connections
      By Suzanne R. S. Simon
    4. Counseling Suicide Survivors
      By Dale Elizabeth Pehrsson and Mary Boylan

Customer Comments

“This book was extremely helpful and I’ll save it as a great reference for this topic.”

– L.S., MFC, Calif.

“All of the courses have been excellent!”

– J.M., LSW, NJ