This article reviews the interpersonal-psychological theory of attempted and completed suicide and describes its applications in suicide risk assessment, crisis intervention, and skills-based psychotherapies. Three components are necessary, but not sufficient, for an individual to die by suicide: (1) the acquired capability to enact lethal self-injury, (2) a sense that one is a burden on others, and (3) the sense that one does not belong to a valued social group. We suggest that therapeutic interventions should focus on ascertaining the presence of these components and work to amend the cognitive distortions, negative interpersonal response styles, and ineffective coping behaviors that serve to maintain suicidal urges.
- Multiple attempters
- Risk assessment