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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“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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“Woefully Inadequate”: Suicide Prevention Training in Graduate Schools

“Woefully Inadequate”: Suicide Prevention Training in Graduate Schools

With the exception of psychiatrists, most mental health professionals have received very little, if any, training in graduate school on suicide-related topics: “Competence in the assessment of suicidality is an essential clinical skill that has consistently been overlooked and dismissed by the colleges, universities, clinical training sites, and licensing bodies that prepare mental health professionals.” […]

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Wait, Who Is A Suicide Survivor Again?

Wait, Who Is A Suicide Survivor Again?

  Across the Internet and elsewhere, people apply the term suicide survivor to two different groups of people: 1) people who struggled with suicidal thoughts or attempted suicide, and survived, and 2) people who were never suicidal at all, but who lost a loved one to suicide.  In a post last year, I defined a suicide […]

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“Mightier than the Sword”: Healing from a Spiteful Suicide Note

“Mightier than the Sword”: Healing from a Spiteful Suicide Note

“Mum, I could write to you for days, but I know nothing would actually make a difference to you,” the note begins. “You are much too ignorant and self concerned to even attempt to listen or understand, everyone knows that.” More hateful words follow, culminating with, “You are a waste of space, ignorant, and a […]

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Coping Statements for Suicidal Thoughts

Coping Statements for Suicidal Thoughts

  Many people desperately wish to stop their suicidal thoughts. Often, this is possible. You might be able to eliminate suicidal thoughts by healing the depression, stress, hopelessness, self-hatred or whatever forces underlie them. Yet it might take a while to stop thinking of suicide. For some people, suicidal thoughts just do not stop, or they keep revisiting […]

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“If Only”: Self-Blame After a Loved One’s Suicide

“If Only”: Self-Blame After a Loved One’s Suicide

“I should have _________.” “If only I _____________.” “Why didn’t I ____________?” Different people may fill in the blanks with different words, but the sentiments are the same: I am to blame. I should have been able to stop my loved one from dying. Feelings of self-blame affect many people who have lost a loved […]

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Letter from a Therapist to a Suicidal Person

Letter from a Therapist to a Suicidal Person

When you come to me for help, I want to help you. I hope you will let me. I cannot know your secrets without your words. I hope you will tell me. Tell me, please, your thoughts of suicide. You might feel scared to tell me When I ask you if you are thinking of suicide. I […]

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Unwritten Goodbyes: When There is No Suicide Note

Unwritten Goodbyes: When There is No Suicide Note

Suicide causes so much devastation in the living – so many overwhelming feelings, so many should-have-done’s and could-have-been’s, so many questions. Amid such heartbreak, many survivors also agonize about why their loved one did not leave a suicide note. Melinda McDonald, a blogger who lost her husband to suicide, wrote about this agony in a […]

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