school yesterday, and I know that he has been drinking heavily since his girlfriend’s funeral. This
morning he is at school and is sober. I have called Josh into my office.
Counselor:” Hello Josh. How are you doing today?”
Client: Ok, I guess.
Counselor: I want you to know how sorry I am for your loss.
Client: I just can’t seem to stop thinking about Carol killing herself. Counselor: I understand it must be real painful to lose someone you care about. Can you tell me some more about your feelings?
Client: I just can’t help thinking that if it wasn’t for me, Carol will still be alive right now. I just can’t live with the guilt.
Counselor: So not only are you dealing with the sudden death of Carol, but you are also feeling real guilty?
Counselor: You know Josh, sometimes when people have experienced a sudden lose and feel as you do, they think of suicide. Is this something you have thought about? Client: Yes
Counselor: I think I understand, but can you tell me some more about what it is that has lead you to think about suicide? "I’m hearing you say you feel overwhelmed by the situation, and I understand that from where you sit, you cannot see a way out of this other than suicide. It is clear to me that you are in such tremendous psychological pain that you feel you simply cannot face another day.
Client: I just can’t live with this guilt. Everyone is looking at me. They know that I had broken 2.
up with Carol. I’m sure everyone hates me and wishes I were dead. I might as well do them a favor and I have no friends, and no one cares if I live or die, and I used to go to church and see people, but I don't even go there anymore.
Counselor: You are really feeling alone right now. You are thinking that you are being blamed for Carol’s death.
Client: You got that right. I will show them. (Josh seems very angry) Counselor: What do you mean “I’ll show them”?
Client: If I kill myself they will not have me to kick around anymore! Counselor: You mentioned that you think suicide is a way to cope with the feelings and problem generated by Carol’s death. Do you have a plan?
Client: Yes, I could do it with my car.
Counselor: Have you thought about when you would do it?
Client: Yes, I was planning to get drunk and drive off the bridge tonight. Counselor: So the pain feels so intense you are thinking of crashing your car off the bridge tonight.
Counselor: Have you ever tried to talk to anyone about this pain before? Client: I was thinking about going to my old therapist, but I don’t even know if she is still around. It has been over a year since I last saw her.
Counselor: What were you seeing the therapist for?
Counselor: Have you ever tried anything like this before?
Counselor: Is there anyone you can talk to about this. Anyone who you think could help you solve these problems. It's okay. You don't have to rush through your story. I will listen. Take a deep breath and tell me what you want me to hear."
Client: No (Josh is crying at this time)
Counselor: Josh, I know it hurts a lot right now and it seems like there is no way out, but I believe that I can help you, if you let me.
Client: What can you do? (He stands and is ready to walk out.) Counselor: We need to get some help right now. How would you like to proceed? Client: I’m done with all of this?
Counselor: OK, Josh I understand. You see no hope. But I do. And if we can agree to put off any more preparations for the suicide until then, it gives us some time to see if we can't come up with some other solutions." "I understand that you are feeling hopeless right now. I have to tell you that from where I sit, I do not believe the situation is hopeless". "I am hopeful that there is a way out...