chapter  7
18 Pages

A case study in suicide prevention: Mark

The case of Mark draws attention to how to use a SAMS formulation-informed intervention of CBSP therapy within a window of opportunity in the absence of distressing experiences, and in the context of social communication difficulties. This case study describes the structured, constructive approach to therapy that could only be commenced once the working alliance between the therapist and client had been explicitly and collaboratively agreed. Mark’s case highlights the common appraisal, held by many experiencing suicidal ideation, of being a failure, which is felt not only by the individual, but also inaccurately perceived to be held by others in their close family. Such appraisals of others impinge upon a person’s willingness and motivation to seek support and help when most in need, thus elevating the likelihood of activating the suicide schema. Alternative, positive schemas linked with appraisals of others as caring and supportive needed to be reinforced, culminating in the inclusion of close family members in Mark’s suicide prevention plan for the future: ‘learning how to shine a light into a Dark Room’.