Discussing suicidal ideation and behavior in therapy can be difficult. Both experienced clinicians and those new in the field of mental health may face challenges when beginning a conversation about suicidality. Having an understanding of the risk factors for suicide and recognizing the warning signs in individuals in therapy is vital for that conversation to be effective. Being able to talk about suicide is only the first step in its prevention, and as the conversation evolves, clinicians must also know what changes in behavior and affect are signals for concern.  

For this two-hour continuing education web conference, Dr. Jill Harkavy-Friedman returns to GoodTherapy.org to discuss strategies for gathering information about past and present suicidal ideation and behavior. As the Vice President of Research at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Dr. Harkavy-Friedman has unique insight for beginning and maintaining effective conversations about suicidality. Attendees will learn which elements of these conversations are most beneficial as they collaborate with individuals to develop a personal safety plan in therapy.

Dr. Harkavy-Friedman will share research on personal safety planning and how clinicians can help individuals in therapy identify their own suicide warning signs and create a plan for managing their suicidal ideation and behavior. She will detail how identifying self-coping strategies and establishing supportive family members and friends are just two elements for preventing suicide. Dr. Harkavy-Friedman will discuss how distraction, personal environment, and avoiding lethal means are also vital for personal safety planning. Suicide can be prevented and clinicians can make a significant difference.

This intermediate instructional level web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. Identify evidence-based risk factors and warning signs for suicide.

  2. Demonstrate conversation skills for discussing suicidal ideation and behavior.

  3. Apply strategies for gathering information about past and present suicidality.

  4. List key elements for developing a personal safety plan.

  5. Recognize the importance of distraction, environment, and avoiding lethal means in personal safety planning.

If you have any questions or concerns about this web conference, or would like more information, please contact us here.

How the Web Conference Works

Before the scheduled event, all registered attendees will be sent a reminder email from GoodTherapy.org with specific instructions on how to log in to the web conference center, as well as links to optional handout materials if applicable. 

To attend the event, registered attendees will log in to the web conference center using a computer or device (smartphone or tablet with internet access) and calling in to the teleconference line on a phone. Attendees will be able to ask live audio questions via phone and/or submit text chat questions via their computer or device. Attendees who are logged in to the event center will be able to see live streaming video and/or document sharing. Alternatively, attendees may dial in to the teleconference line only, though attendees dialing in by phone only will be unable to ask questions. 

At the conclusion of this event, participants will receive an email with information about how to request a CE certificate in the GoodTherapy.org Member's Area. To confirm attendance, participants must enter the start and end codes announced at the beginning and end of the live presentation. Participants will also be prompted to complete an online survey evaluating the event. Participants will need to complete this online survey within six days after the event. Once completed, participants will be able to download a copy of their CE certificate instantly. 

For additional information about this event or our CE grievance procedures, please contact us here

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE contact hours will be provided by GoodTherapy.org for attending this web conference in its entirety. 

GoodTherapy.org is an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within Counseling Services. 

GoodTherapy.org is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.

This organization, GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: March 30, 2016 through March 30, 2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive two clinical continuing education clock hours.

GoodTherapy.org is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

GoodTherapy.org, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

Registration Information

This web conference is available at no cost to GoodTherapy.org members.

Event Reviews from Members

This was a very helpful and reassuring presentation. I appreciate the emphasis on collaboration. We are not alone in this struggle as clients or clinicians. - Laura Slagle, LMFT

Meet the Presenter

Jill Harkavy-Friedman, PhD

Jill Harkavy-Friedman, PhD is an associate professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University, a psychologist practicing in the state of New York, and the leader of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) research grant program. She works closely with several other AFSP teams to implement current research in the development of programs and messages supporting best practices for suicide prevention.

After completing her clinical internship at Yale-New Haven Hospital in 1984, Harvaky-Friedman took a position as assistant professor at Montefiore Medical Center, establishing the Adolescent Depression and Suicide Program there. She moved on to Columbia University five years later, where she gained associate professorship and eventually became Director of Curriculum for Psychiatric Research Fellowships.

Throughout her career of over 30 years as a researcher and clinician, Dr. Harkavy-Friedman has remained committed to suicide research and prevention, concentrating on suicidal behavior in adolescents and adults. She has pioneered aspects of suicide research and prevention in her work and was the first to ask high school students about suicidal behavior and ideation.

She has published nearly 100 articles and has lent her expertise to a number of publications, including USA Today, Newsweek, and the Washington Post. She received the Alexander Gralnick award in 2003 from the American Association for Suicidology.