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DID I MISS SOMETHING? PERCEIVING SECRET SUICIDAL THOUGHTS - Exploring the subtleties of clients secretly considering suicide

Event Details
Date: 22 Aug 2020
Venue: Sydney, NSW
CPD hrs: 7

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Organiser: The Professional Development People

Are pain and suffering the same? In suicide prevention we listen for and validate any subtleties of pain that our clients deem to be unbearable. Nevertheless, suffering and pain is complex and often in reflection after having provided a counselling/support session one will ask themselves if they missed something? The principles of suicide prevention are based on a ‘no-secrets’ philosophy. However, what might be a cry for help from a person who is suffering might not be so obvious to the counsellor. This course explores the subtleties of client’s suicidal pain that can be missed in a counselling session and provides strategies to discern this with more confidence and compassion. The course promotes self-reflection for practitioners to also explore their own barriers that can block our capacity to listening to suffering and suicidal pain. Clarity will be promoted by exploring what happens when people write down their suicidal thoughts and have these read out aloud by someone else to create a better understanding, connection, and empathy amongst strangers. The course will focus on suffering as a unique human experience and build upon principles of understanding, supporting, allowing and exploring this experience. A whole person approach will be applied when exploring the subtleties of suffering that can lead to suicide. Learn how to invite clients to unpack this whole person pain that is physical, mental, social and spiritual. Research demonstrates that spiritual/existential concerns play a significant role as a protective and/or risk factors for suicidal behaviours and bereavement. This workshop will explore ways of ultimate meaningmaking through relationships, the natural environment, religion and the arts which can become protective factors in suicide prevention. All four areas are part of whole person and spiritual care and aims to alleviate suffering. Spirituality is a critical component in the healing process of people bereft through suicide. It becomes even more significant for older people, whose developmental need to make meaning increases with age. Older men (85 years and over) have the highest rates of suicide in Australia and this is often an unknown or unspoken statistic. Elements of spiritual care interventions, reminiscing and the gift of silence in trust building work will be explored. Beate will draw on two decades of experience of working with people vulnerable or bereaved to suicide.

Learning objectives

  1. Experience greater confidence when working with subtle suicidal ideation in clients.
  2. Understand processes to build trust and connection to explore hidden suffering and pain.
  3. Identify the key elements in suicide prevention, post-vention and risk assessment.
  4. Practice leading a difficult conversation and explore pain with a person who is expressing subtle suicidal thoughts.
  5. Explore a range of definitions that provide understanding of what spirituality is in the context of meaning-making and working with existential questions in the context of suicidal ideation and bereavement.
  6. Consider and practice how we can support bereft people better by responding to existential/spiritual questions and expressions more confidently.

Location and date

UTS Short Course Rooms
Level 7, Building 10,
235 Jones Street,
Ultimo, NSW 2007

22 August 2020

9:15am - 4:30pm


Standard fee $298

This event is fully catered and all resources are provided.

Students and new graduates may apply to attend at a discount apply here.


Register online by clicking here

Ph: 1300 887 622 OR Inquire about this as inhouse training, wherever you are - we come to you.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers