Hope and Healing

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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Like Clouds Before the Sun: Mindfulness and Suicidal Thoughts

Like Clouds Before the Sun: Mindfulness and Suicidal Thoughts

Too often, people who think of suicide regard their thoughts as truth. They believe them. In a twist on the famous saying “I think, therefore I am,” suicide’s lie is, “I think I should kill myself, therefore I should kill myself.” It doesn’t have to be that way. You can learn to mindfully observe suicidal […]

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Talking Back to Suicidal Thoughts

Talking Back to Suicidal Thoughts

Suicidal thoughts take different forms. Some politely knock on the door. You let them in, entertain them a bit, and then they leave. But suicidal thoughts can also be most unwelcome. In such cases, you do not want to think of suicide. The thoughts still come. They invade. They refuse to leave. So What Can […]

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Where Are They Now?: The Fate of Suicide Attempt Survivors

Where Are They Now?: The Fate of Suicide Attempt Survivors

Say someone wants to die by suicide so badly that they go to the Golden Gate Bridge to jump off. But then they are stopped from jumping. What happens to them afterward? You might think that, once freed from the authority figures who prevented their suicide on the bridge,  they still went on to by suicide. […]

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What’s Your Pleasure?

What’s Your Pleasure?

If you are depressed, stressed, or grieving, the term “pleasurable activities” may seem oxymoronic – no activity possibly could bring pleasure. Maybe you cannot even remember what gives you pleasure – or what once gave you pleasure no longer does. You may also think that pleasure is simply petty. If you feel so bad that […]

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Shame, Stigma, and Suicidality

Shame, Stigma, and Suicidality

Many people feel ashamed of their suicidal thoughts. This shame can be about any number of things, often contradictory: thinking of suicide, being unable to stop thinking of suicide, not acting on suicidal thoughts, acting on suicidal thoughts, and so on. Shame especially can follow a suicide attempt. One small study found that most of the […]

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What are Your Reasons for Living?

What are Your Reasons for Living?

If you have suicidal thoughts, then you probably have clearly spelled out in your head your reasons for dying. These reasons may taunt you, incessantly reminding you of what is wrong with your life, perhaps even the world. Do you pay more attention to your reasons for dying than your reasons for living? People’s reasons […]

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The Hope Box

The Hope Box

Suicidal thoughts and hope exist on opposite ends of the spectrum, and one withers in the face of the other. A good means for challenging suicidal thoughts, then, is to cultivate hope. That is the aim of the “hope box.” The premise is simple: Get a box (or a bag, or a large envelope, or […]

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The Woman who Lived in a Tipi

The Woman who Lived in a Tipi

One night, a friend unexpectedly came to my house very late.  Only after we had chatted for 15 minutes did she roll up her sleeve and show me why.  Her wrist was bleeding.  I rushed her to the hospital and struggled not to faint as doctors stitched up what she had cut with a razor. […]

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Are You Thinking of Killing Yourself?

Are You Thinking of Killing Yourself?

I cannot pretend to understand your situation. You are a stranger, first of all, and everybody’s story is unique. So I’ll refrain from the clichés: “It’ll get better.” “This too shall pass.” “You are a good person and deserve to live.” Those statements may well be true, and I hope you will consider them. But […]

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