|INTERVIEWING TIP OF THE MONTH
# 22 December 2001
Exploring the Ambivalence of Suicide
TISA Description of the Problem: Ambivalence is often a component in the thinking and feelings of a client considering suicide. Naturally, in assessing the potential risk of a client, it is useful to try to clarify this ambivalence. There are many different ways to do this task. In a client, who is not manipulative or prone to interpersonal games with the clinician, the following creative tip may help the interviewer get a better read on the client's actual intent.
Tip: I sometimes ask the following question to help uncover suicidal ambivalence:
"If I gave you a little tool on which you only have to press a button to die, what would you do with it?"
Tip provided by:
Post-graduate Program Director