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Abstract Overholser, James C.; Hernandez, Silvia

Finding inner peace: The path toward suicide prevention       

Suicide remains a major problem throughout society. Unfortunately, recommendations for the treatment of suicidal clients are often presented at a general level, without providing adequate detail that could guide the practicing clinician. If depressed clients can be helped to find inner peace, their risk of suicide should be reduced. First, clients may become suicidal when they focus on unfortunate events from their recent or distant past, resulting in tendencies for rumination and guilt. Therapy can help clients cultivate an attitude of peace and contentment, promoting self-forgiveness and a sense of accomplishment. Second, suicidal clients often focus on their current struggles, frequently involving financial problems, interpersonal conflict, and social isolation. Therapy can help clients to embrace life through planned activities, reconnecting with loved ones, and repairing relationships that had been damaged. Third, clients may struggle because of hopeless views of their future, feeling trapped in a desperate situation with no possible solution. Therapy can help clients look to the future with a more optimistic attitude and a sense of control. Clients can learn to search for realistic solutions to their problems, developing a renewed sense of optimism and empowerment. Thus, the risk of self-aggression through suicide can be reduced when therapy helps clients find inner peace through reducing guilt and worthlessness, increasing meaningful social bonds, and instilling a sense of hope for the future.

Overholser, James C.; Hernandez, Silvia


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