Mindfulness in the Treatment of Suicidal Individual
“Through mindfulness, we observe the thoughts suicide, with equanimity, cultivating a gentle-kindness toward ourselves.”
In contrast to more traditional suicide treatment models that see suicidality as a symptom of a diagnosis and assume that it will resolve if the diagnostic condition is treated.
We believe that it is important to address suicidality directly as a primary target of concern and to identify transdiagnostic processes that cut across the many different diagnostic conditions associated with suicidal behavior
Although more research is needed, mindfulness appears to offer promise for those people contemplating suicide as a method to end their suffering.
Encouraging preliminary evidence suggests that therapists can foster mindfulness in a relatively brief period of time and that mindfulness can affect a variety of processes thought to contribute to suicidal behavior.
Through mindfulness, suicidal individuals are taught to observe the dark calculus of suicide with equanimity, cultivate kindness and self-compassion toward themselves, and to return to living each moment to its fullest.
In addition to its use as a clinical intervention, mindfulness can help clinicians to respond adaptively to the stress of working with suicidal clients and maintain flexibility in challenging clinical situations.
Mindful therapy involves the creation of a culture of caring and compassion (even if only a culture of two) that can benefit both therapist and client.