chapter  6
14 Pages

Family Therapy for Suicidal People

The death of an individual by suicide is forever perplexing to the individual’s acquaintances, friends, and family members, who are haunted by questions such as “Why didn’t I know?” and “What should I have done?” Suicide rates among adolescents and young adults tripled from 1950 to 1980 (O’Carroll, Mercy, Hersey, Boudreau, & Odell-Butler, 1992), and there is reason to believe these rates will continue to climb, given recent evidence of a growing incidence of psychopathology in the general population (Lewinsohn, Hops, Roberts, Seeley, & Andrews, 1993; Lewinsohn, Rohde, Seeley, & Fischer, 1993). Most contemporary formulations of suicide (e.g., Blumenthal, 1990) propose that suicidal behavior arises when precipitants (risk factors) interact with predisposing factors (vulnerabilities).