Preventing Suicide: The Solution Focused Approach Second Edition


SKU: 9781119162957 Categories: , , ,

The book looks at secondary suicide prevention (treatment for those thinking about suicide or who are actively suicidal) and is very practically focused.

The first chapter reviews the prevention literature and discusses the healthier nation targets.

The second chapter outlines solution focused brief therapy and presents the evidence base for this approach.

Chapters 3 and 4 focus on risk assessment, management and medication.

Chapter 5 presents an in-depth case study and the final chapter presents five shorter case studies.

The appendices contain examples of exercises that can be given to clients.


  • About the Author.
  • Foreword.
  • Preface.
  • Acknowledgements.
  • 1. How to Use this Book.
  • 2. The Book’s Style and Purpose.
  • 3. Defining Suicide and Self-Harm.
  • 4. Current Service Provision: Risk Assessment, Management and Medication.
  • 5. Other Approaches to Helping the Suicidal.
  • 6. What is Solution Focused Brief Therapy?
  • 7. Suicide Encounters: The Crucial First Ten Minutes.
  • 8. The Solution Focused Approach in Working with the Suicidal.
  • 9. Case Study: Reg and ‘the Demons Calling from the Deep’.
  • 10. Some more Case Vignettes.
  • 11. Where do we go from Here?
  • Appendix 1. Flow Diagram for an Episode of Treatment.
  • Appendix 2.
  • References.
  • Index. 

Author Bio:

John Henden is an internationally known and well-respected workshop presenter and trainer, who has a special interest in various challenging applications of the solution focused approach to psychological problems. the subject of suicide is one such interest.

It is his specialised approach to suicide prevention which has gained most public attention over the last few years. He has presented workshops at conferences; run training courses in several countries; and has had numerous suicidal clients on which to field-test the radical tools and techniques he outlines. Suicide rates within mental health services have been reduced significantly in areas where this new approach has been applied.

John Henden is among one of the leading innovators within his field, having developed some interesting ideas and techniques of his own: leapfrogging the problem; ‘the five o’clock rule’; the solution focused feelings tank’; and, ‘beating the ‘if only…’ monster’.

Having had various articles and papers published over his long career, he has at last been persuaded to get all his ideas on suicide prevention out in book form.


“John’s ground-breaking book is a must have for practitioners who work with suicide. It has international appeal as a practical guide and offers a collection of best practices in the field, case vignettes, tools and tips, and a compelling case for the “zero suicide” initiative” – Debbie Hogan, MS, Therapist, Trainer, Director, Academy of Solution Focused Training, Singapore

“Solution Focused Therapy is a radical and vital non-pathologizing approach for helping people who are suicidal, giving them hope, a positive caring relationship and a set of tools for moving onward. In this new, expanded edition, John Henden looks at wider issues concerning suicide and presents Solution Focused Therapy in the context of other recognised approaches, including a review of all the latest evidence of effectiveness. Strongly recommended.” – Harry Procter, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Hertfordshire, UK