Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW

I am a Denver psychotherapist, consultant, researcher, and professor. Both my clinical practice and research have focused on suicide prevention. I am currently in private practice in Denver as a psychotherapist and consultant, and I am a social work professor at the University of Denver.

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“When Hope is Gone Just Hang On”: More Songs Against Suicide

“When Hope is Gone Just Hang On”: More Songs Against Suicide

“Sad songs,” the line goes, “say so much.” And there are thousands of them. Many sad songs intensify a melancholy mood; some even extol suicide as a solution. Fewer and farther between are the songs that, while acknowledging the intense pain that fuels suicide, offer hope, encouragement, or inspiration to stay alive. In an earlier […]

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If You Are Suicidal, Envision Your Future Selves

If You Are Suicidal, Envision Your Future Selves

Suicide lies. It tells you that the way you feel now is the way you will feel forever. Hope itself can seem like a toxic lie, a set-up for disappointment. The present feels permanent, and the future feels foretold. Don’t fall for the lies. “The future,” as they say, “is unwritten.” Things can change. Things […]

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Is It Selfish to Die in a Tornado?

Is It Selfish to Die in a Tornado?

Written by on October 28, 2015 in All Posts, Friends and Family with 26 Comments

People who die in tornadoes are so selfish. They have people who love them, people who will be hurt terribly if they die. Yet they die anyway. People who die in tornadoes are thinking only of themselves. They take the easy way out when they refuse to overcome the storm. They don’t care that their […]

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“Let’s Get Physical”: 7 Tips to Calm Anxiety

“Let’s Get Physical”: 7 Tips to Calm Anxiety

Anxiety is fear. It is a message from our brain that something is wrong and we are in danger. Often, the danger is not truly present, at least not to the degree that our mind is telling us it is. But the body does not know this. The body reacts as if the danger is […]

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Beyond Magic: How Do We Detect Suicidal Thoughts?

Beyond Magic: How Do We Detect Suicidal Thoughts?

No objective test exists for suicidal thoughts – no X-ray to detect broken hope, no CAT scan to reveal intolerable emotional pain, no blood test to expose toxic intentions. This reality is disappointing, even devastating. People understandably want professionals to predict and prevent suicide. For example, in the aftermath of the pilot Andreas Lubitz intentionally […]

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10 Things Not to Say to a Suicidal Person

10 Things Not to Say to a Suicidal Person

  “I want to kill myself.”  Those five words are a shock to hear, a dreadful pronouncement from a friend or family member you do not want to lose. You recoil at the thought. How could they want to die? As unwelcome as those words are to your ears, your loved one has handed you […]

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Transgender People and Suicide: The Tragedy, and the Hope

Transgender People and Suicide: The Tragedy, and the Hope

Written by on January 2, 2015 in All Posts, LGBT topics, Misc with 11 Comments

  Transgender youth and adults have far higher rates of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts than the average person. Consider these research findings: The suicide rate among transgender adults in an international study was almost 800 per 100,000. In comparison, the suicide rate in the U.S. for all people is 13 per 100,000. (That study is […]

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“Oh, I’m Begging You, No”: 18 Songs Against Suicide

“Oh, I’m Begging You, No”: 18 Songs Against Suicide

Some songs portray suicide as a compelling option, even an outright solution. It is doubtful that listening to such songs can cause suicidal thoughts, but it might intensify them. Consider that old adage: What you focus on, expands. Focus on songs that portray suicide positively, and positive thoughts about suicide can expand.  So, here are 18 songs that implore people to […]

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The 3-Day Rule and Suicide

The 3-Day Rule and Suicide

Many people who attempt suicide do so impulsively. Extremely impulsively. One study of people who attempted suicide found that 48% thought of suicide for fewer than 10 minutes before making the suicide attempt. The haste with which many people die by suicide is staggering. Had they waited a little longer, then the intense impulse to […]

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For Therapists Who Want – or Need – to Improve Their Suicide Prevention Skills

For Therapists Who Want – or Need – to Improve Their Suicide Prevention Skills

If you are a psychotherapist, it is likely that your graduate studies included precious little training in suicide prevention. You can get that knowledge in other ways. To name a few: Practice Guidelines Several organizations have published guidelines for clinical practice with suicidal individuals. Those practice guidelines contain a wealth of information on topics related to […]

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