Building a Therapeutic Alliance with the Suicidal Patient by Konrad Michel, David A. Jobes
The quality of the therapeutic alliance is a well-established factor for successful therapy process and outcome. When it comes to treating suicidal patients, a strong therapeutic alliance can quite literally save a person's life. In this book, editors Konrad Michel and David A. Jobes have enlisted an elite group of clinicians and researchers to explore what has become known as the "Aeschi approach" to clinical suicide prevention. According to this view, mental health professionals working with patients at risk for suicide must recognize a fundamental conflict at the heart of good clinical practice: while they are experts in the assessment of disorders of mental health, when it comes to the patient's story, the patient is the expert. Any successful intervention with a suicidal patient must therefore be based on an empathic understanding of suicidal thoughts and behavior that honors the patient's very personal perspective. This exceptional volume addresses a wide range of issues, from the principles and method of establishing a working alliance, to patient-oriented therapeutic models, to practical clinical matters such as the therapeutic alliance within specific treatments across theoretical orientations. Most importantly, this book provides essential guidance for clinical suicide risk reduction that may help save lives.