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When Therapists Have Lived through Suicide Intensity — Deep Insights on Helping the Suicidal Person: Interview with Dr. Stacey Freedenthal

Do mental health providers’ own personal histories with suicide impact their interactions with and attitudes towards people experiencing suicide intensity? What happens when clinicians disclose their own suicide attempts to the public or to their clients? Does an “insider’s view” help a therapist to be more of an ally than an adversary? In this interview Dr. Stacey Freedenthal and I explore these questions as we have an in-depth conversation about her deep insights in helping the suicide person.

About Dr. Stacey Freedenthal
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Stacey Freedenthal, PhD, LCSW, is a tenured faculty member at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work where she teaches Suicide Assessment and Interventions, Assessment of Mental Health in Adults, Clinical Social Work Theory and Practice, and Social Justice Challenges in Mental Health Practice. She writes poignantly and powerfully about suicide. Her book, Helping the Suicidal Person: Tips and Techniques for Professionals, contains evidence-based instructions and advice for assessing risk, planning for safety and helping the suicidal person to build hope, coping skills and reasons for living. She has written more than 70 articles for her website, a blog that has received over five million visitors since 2013.

Freedenthal started her journey working in the field of suicide prevention in 1994, when she volunteered at a suicide hotline. Subsequently, she earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas at Austin. She held clinical positions in psychiatric emergency settings before returning to school to earn a PhD in social work from Washington University in St. Louis. Before Freedenthal became a social worker, she worked as a journalist for The Dallas Morning News. for more information go to

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