The day will consist of 4 segments. Dr. Shea will begin by describing an innovative approach to collaborative treatment planning - a model called "matrix treatment planning" – developed to transform the types of stalled treatment plans that may lead to suicide. The model focuses upon a style of suicide prevention known as “upstream suicide prevention” which attempts to prevent suicides by instilling resiliency in people so the they do not develop suicidal ideation in the first place. In the process Dr. Shea also provides a remarkably fresh definition of happiness, which has numerous ramifications for problem solving, transforming difficult times, suicide prevention, and finding hope, while providing a surprisingly refreshing antidote to clinician "burn-out".
In the next segment, a thought-provoking look is given to the concept of arriving at a clinical formulation of risk using risk factors, protective factors, and warning signs. Dr. Shea provides a sophisticated integration of these factors into a flexible method of arriving at a clinical formulation of risk that forms a powerful antidote to the “check-list” approach to performing a suicide assessment so commonly seen today.
After lunch the focus shifts to direct methods of uncovering dangerous secrets. The first afternoon segment is devoted to understanding seven practical validity techniques: normalisation, shame attenuation, the behavioural incident, gentle assumption, the catch-all question, denial of the specific and symptom amplification - the cornerstones for effectively eliciting suicidal ideation. Dr. Shea demonstrates how these interviewing techniques can also provide powerful gateways for uncovering the types of sensitive topics that may lead to suicidal thoughts including: physical abuse, drug abuse, antisocial behaviour, and incest.
The final segment of the day is devoted to a demonstration of how these validity techniques can be woven into a specific strategy for uncovering suicidal ideation and intent – the Chronological Assessment of Suicide Events (the CASE Approach).
The highly acclaimed CASE Approach has been described by David Jobes Ph.D., a former President of the American Association of Suicidology, as follows: “The CASE Approach moves the clinician almost imperceptibly into the secret internal workings of the mind and soul of the patient tormented by suicidal ideation. I believe that the CASE Approach is a remarkable conceptual and clinical contribution to the field of suicidology. It should be taught to any front-line clinician. It has the power to meaningfully save lives.”