|Journal of Mental Health Counseling|
Volume 34, Number 2, April 2012
1. Adapting the Safety Planning Intervention for Use in a Veterans Psychiatric Inpatient Group Setting (Pages 95-109)
Jeffrey A. Rings, Patricia A. Alexander, Valerie N. Silvers and Peter M. Gutierrez
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently has adopted the Safety Planning Intervention (SPI; Stanley & Brown, 2011), a brief collaborative intervention, for use with veterans who are at high risk of suicide. The SPI is a hierarchical list of strategies for veterans to use in coping with a suicidal crisis. Its developers recommended that it be used with individual psychiatric inpatients working toward discharge, but its utility in a group format has not previously been addressed. This article describes the facilitation of a safety planning group with psychiatric inpatients at a large urban VA medical center. It depicts each step in the safety plan and offers case examples, anecdotal support, and specific considerations for its use in groups. Directions for further research are also discussed.
2. Executive Functioning as a Component of Suicide Risk Assessment: Clarifying its Role in Standard Clinical Applications (Pages 110-120)
Beeta Y. Homaifar, Nazanin Bahraini, Morton M. Silverman and Lisa A. Brenner
Clinically, because executive dysfunction (e.g., impulsivity, insight, thinking process) is often thought of in the context of those with traumatic brain injuries and other neurologic conditions, its formal assessment has historically been seen as the domain of those who assess and treat patients with neurologic disease. However, mental health counselors (MHCs) could benefit from learning how executive functioning relates to suicide risk assessment and coping strategies. Assessment of executive functions can be incorporated in routine clinical practice without the need for formal neuropsychological measures or other time-consuming procedures. In fact, during standard clinical assessment, mental health professionals often informally assess components of executive functioning such as impulsivity, insight, and thinking processes. This article highlights aspects of executive functioning with which MHCs may already be familiar and demonstrates their clinical utility in enhancing assessment and management of suicide-related thoughts and behaviors.
3. Minimizing Social Contagion in Adolescents Who Self-Injure: Considerations for Group Work, Residential Treatment, and the Internet (Pages 121-132)
Brent G. Richardson, Kendra A. Surmitis and Rebecca S. Hyldahl
Social contagion among adolescents is a growing concern as the numbers of youth who selfinjure increases. Mental health counselors face challenges in treating self-injurers in settings that are prone to social contagion. This article describes social contagion as one factor motivating self-harm in group settings, residential facilities, and audiences for social and electronic media. It reviews possible benefits and pitfalls of self-injury treatment in these environments and presents approaches to minimize social contagion. Responses to self-injury and social contagion are explored.
4. The Effect of Childhood Trauma, Personal Wellness, Supervisory Working Alliance, and Organizational Factors on Vicarious Traumatization