Working with Suicidal Patients:
A Reflective Workshop for Professionals
This workshop is based on the Dr Gislene Wolfart’s doctoral research on Clinicians’ Experience of Working with Suicidality. It was approved by the British Psychological Society (BPS) Learning Centre and delivered at BPS’s London Office for the purpose of Continuous Professional-Development (CPD).
Hales (2008) defines suicidality as lying on a continuum from less severe DSH to completed suicides. This workshop aims to facilitate reflection whilst presenting information on the impact (both personal and professional) of working with suicidal patients.
Previous research on the impact of patients’ suicidality on professionals outlined the vital role of training institutions in preparing trainees to deal with such events in their practice (Brown 1987). However, Wolfart (2011) highlighted how qualified professionals still felt largely unprepared to deal with the impact of suicidality and completed suicides. Senior practitioners also reported lacking a containing space for safe and open reflection. Such lack of preparation and professionally containing spaces may lead to proliferation of stigma associated with unresolved patient suicidality and completed suicides. Thus, professionals may end up facing one of the most challenging events in their professional lives feeling alone and unprepared.
The workshop’s main aims are:
- Increased awareness of the personal and professional impact of patient suicidality;
- Facilitate reflection, hopefully reducing stigma often associated with such experiences;
- Review ways of coping within and outside the professional setting.
Main Research Component
Wolfart.G. (2011). Coping with Self-Destructive Forces 2001, pp. 41-199. Doctoral Dissertation. City University. Google Scholar.
Gibbons, R., Brand, F., Carbonnier, A., Croft, A., Lascelles, K., Wolfart, G., & Hawton, K. (2019). Effects of patient suicide on psychiatrists: Survey of experiences and support required. BJPsych Bulletin, 43(5), 236-241. doi:10.1192/bjb.2019.26
The workshop is suitable to all mental health professionals regardless of experience or training background. It is particularly aimed to those who work with suicidal patients, and those have experienced completed suicides.
Gislene Wolfart (DPsych, CPsychol, AFBPsS)
Please contact us if you would like to request for a workshop to be delivered at your Training Organisation, Health Trust or Service.
Delegates felt it was (i) relevant to their practice, (ii) met their learning objectives; and (iii) rated delivery as “Excellent”.
“I found the workshop incredibly helpful in guiding my thinking and aiding reflection about key issues relevant to my day-to-day clinical practice. The facilitator created a safe and contained space for difficult issues to be openly discussed. The presentation, practical exercises and materials provided were of excellent quality.”
“Thank you to the Facilitator and yourselves for putting on such an important, but often taboo subject, that can leave Psychologists (at all levels) feeling vulnerable, isolated and unsupported at a time of their great need for reassurance and acceptance from their colleagues. It has highlighted a need for a clear process to be put in place, within many workplaces, so that should this happen to someone they know where they can turn to to get help and support at this important time.”
“An excellent and highly professional presenter who brought together theory, practice and sufficient time for personal reflection in a safe and though-provoking manner. It helped to know there are more of us out there facing the same stressors and dilemmas.”
“Very helpful to have discussions about findings, and other people’s experiences”
“Excellent, interesting topic. Good variety. I … found the whole experience very enjoyable. The research base was particularly useful, as was the personal reflections of all attendees.”
“Very well covered with good detail and examples. Thought provoking. It has made me consciously consider the impact upon staff whom I work with and of working in mental health generally.”
“Thank you so much for the day, I really enjoyed it!”