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Hope in Action: Solution-Focused Conversations about Suicide
Fiske, Heather, PhD
Routledge / Haworth Press / Softcover / 2008-05-01 / 0789033941
Collaborative Therapies / Suicide
reg price: $100.95 our price: $ 85.81 (may be subject to change)
350 pages
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Respectful and effective solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT) for suicidal clients

Few tasks are more important-and daunting-than to help someone who is suicidal to go beyond the darkness of hopelessness to the light of hope. Hope in Action: Solution-Focused Conversations about Suicide is a unique resource providing fresh approaches to treating individuals and families where suicide is an issue. This comprehensive book provides a thorough grounding in using a solution-focused therapy approach to elicit and reinforce hope and reasons for living. Strategies are demonstrated with stories, case vignettes, and transcripts. Special applications include some of the most challenging high-risk clients that therapists treat, including people who make repeated attempts. This powerful resource offers a set of practice principles based on the existing empirical evidence in the context of clinical utility and client expertise.

Hope in Action: Solution-Focused Conversations about Suicide provides case transcripts to help in role-play or rehearsal situations as well as numerous practical tips. The book also provides lists of solution-focused questions for use in various situations, including suicide crisis, the use of anti-depressant medications, facilitation of collaborative working relationships with colleagues as well as clients. Each application chapter gives therapists practical, hands-on tools and uses stories and illustrations to make the book user-friendly. The text also offers a brief appendix on the basic skills of SFBT.
Topics discussed in Hope in Action: Solution-Focused Conversations about Suicide include:
current knowledge about preventing suicide at the individual level
helping clients to utilize their strengths even when they
are in crisis
how research in diverse areas supports the solution-focused approach
effective treatment for couples and families when one member is suicidal
basic approaches to effective therapy with young children and teens who have attempted suicide
respectful, effective therapy with people who seem to have adopted being suicidal as their primary coping strategy
therapeutic tools that help the therapist to stay hopeful about clients and strengthen the therapeutic relationship

Hope in Action: Solution-Focused Conversations about Suicide is a valuable resource for counselors and therapists
at every experience level.


"SENSITIVE. . . . MANDATORY READING FOR ANYONE WHO IS PLANNING ON DOING DIRECT PRACTICE as a mental health professional or teaching direct practice in a graduate school setting."
-Frank R. Campbell, Ph.D. LCSW, C.T., Executive Director, The Crisis Center Foundation and The Office of Clinical Research and Consultation, The Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center
"PROVIDES A COMPREHENSIVE AND EMINENTLY READABLE OVERVIEW of a range of issues in solution-focused brief therapy for suicide prevention. . . . VERY USEFUL READING FOR A RANGE OF AUDIENCES including students, therapists, counsellors and psychologists who want an introduction to brief solution based therapy. . . . SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING for all those who are planning to work with suicidal clients."
-Annette L. Beautrais, PhD, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand


Preface: Stories of Hope and Healing
Introduction: How to Use this Book
Chapter 1. What Works? Building on What We Know to Develop
Practice Principles
Utilize What the Client Brings Focus on Reasons for Living
Make Every Encounter Therapeutic Contain Crisis Tap into Hope Help the Client Set Constructive Goals Collaborate with Clients
Collaborate with Colleagues Work with Systems Be Mindful
Watch Your Language! Evaluate Effectiveness Do What You Can Do
Chapter 2. Putting Principles into Practice: Asking Useful Questions
Beginnings Balancing Acknowledgment and Possibility Expanding Possibilities for Change A Better Future: The Miracle Question
(You Ask Them What?) Goals "Making Numbers Talk" Compliments Messages: Therapist-to-Client Feedback Safety Planning Evaluations: Client-to-Therapist Feedback Continuing: A Focus on Progress and Change Termination Putting It All Together: Thoughts on "Flow"
Examples of Possible Question Sequences Conclusion: Voice of Experience
Chapter 3. Three Conversations About Dying and Living
Talking with George Talking with Laura Talking with Marco
Chapter 4. Solution-Focused Approaches to Crisis
Crisis Intervention at First Contact Crisis Intervention in the Context of an Ongoing Relationship Conclusion
Chapter 5. Befriending the Black Dog: Solutions for Depression
The Core: Solution-Focused Questions Respect and Curiosity Finding and Building on Exceptions Mindfulness "Homework" Suggestions
Frequently Asked Questions Conclusion
Chapter 6. Chronic Attempts at Solution: Working with People Who Have Made Repeated Suicide Attempts
The Teacher Respecting What Works I: Watching My Language
Respecting What Works II: Client Views and Resources Respecting What Works III: Therapist Contributions When Suicidal Crises Occur in the Course of Treatment Notes on the R Word Notes on Dealing with Self-Mutilation Back to Ashley
Chapter 7. Even the Children: Preventing Suicide Among Young People
Helping Young Children with Suicidal Thoughts and Actions
Additional Safety Issues Making Our Methods Child-Friendly
Chapter 8. Hope and Energy: Preventing Adolescent Suicide
Susan's Miracle Working with "Angry Young Men" When the Answer Is "I Don't Know" Relationships and Relationship Questions
Chapter 9. Teamwork with Natural Systems I: Collaborating with
Parents and Peers
Parents Helping/Helping Parents Friends Other Approaches to Team-Building
Chapter 10. Teamwork with Natural Systems II: Family and Couple Therapy
Suicide Prevention in Families Suicide Prevention with Couples
Chapter 11. Teamwork with Unnatural Systems: Collaborating with Our Colleagues
All My Relations The Challenge of Collaboration Meeting the
Challenge Borrowing a Framework Applying the Framework: Questions and Examples Conclusion
Chapter 12. Teamwork in Communities
Noticing Exceptions Examples of Community Resource Utilization Clients Constructing Community/Community Supporting Clients
Conclusion: Voices of Experience
Chapter 13. Survivor Wisdom: News of a Difference
Challenges The Helping Connection "This Other Journey"
Chapter 14. Walking the Talk: The Hopeful Therapist
Hope-Friendly Practice? Concrete Reminders Conclusion: My Favorite Story
Conclusion: Take This Story
Appendix A: Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: The Basics
What It Is How It Works Research Support
Appendix B: Notes on the Evidence Base: Toward Communities of Curiosity
Suicide Intervention Research: Challenges and Limitations Research on
SFBT: Challenges and Limitations The Specter of Evidence-Based Practice
An Exercise in Practicing My Preaching Model for a Collaborative, Practice-Friendly Evidence Base A Therapist's Research Wish List
Appendix C: Warning Signs for Imminent Danger of Suicide
Appendix D: Reflective Questions for Reviewing Cases

About the Author:

Heather Fiske, PhD, is a licensed psychologist with over 30 years of clinical experience. She has worked in hospitals, community clinics, schools, and correctional facilities. Currently, Dr. Fiske is in private practice. She is one of the founders of the Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association, and teaches a postgraduate program in solution-focused therapy at the University of Toronto. She also trains service providers to the homeless. Dr. Fiske is an active volunteer and frequent speaker for provincial, national, and international suicide prevention advocacy organizations. She is a member of the Provincial Advisory Board of the Ontario Suicide Prevention Network, a past Director of the Canadian Association of Suicide Prevention (CASP), and a recipient of the CASP National Service Award.

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