Clinical applications of the interpersonal-psychological theory of attempted and completed suicide

Nadia E. Stellrecht, Kathryn H. Gordon, Kimberly Van Orden, Tracy K. Witte, La Ricka R. Wingate, Kelly C. Cukrowicz, Melanie Butler, Norman B. Schmidt, Kathleen Kara Fitzpatrick, Thomas E. Joiner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-222
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Volume62
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2006

Keywords

  • Multiple attempters
  • Risk assessment
  • Suicide
  • Treatment

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