Clinical Training in Suicide Prevention

The Center for the Prevention of Suicide is pleased to offer training for mental health clinicians and organizations in evidence-based assessment and treatment of suicidal ideation and behaviors. Workshops, intensive training, and expert consultation are available and described below. Also, we are able to create customized training plans for interested organizations. For training in suicide risk assessment or Cognitive Therapy for Suicide Prevention (CT-SP), please contact Kelly Green, Ph.D. to discuss costs and your training needs. For training in the Safety Planning Intervention (SPI), please contact Gregory K Brown, PhD and Barbara Stanley, PhD to discuss costs and your training needs.

Safety Planning Intervention (SPI): 

The SPI is a brief intervention for suicide risk reduction that was developed by Barbara Stanley, Ph.D. and Gregory K. Brown, Ph.D. The SPI is included in the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Best Practices Registry and has been adopted as the standard of care within the Department of Veterans Affairs and other settings across the country. In this workshop, participants will learn the six steps to collaboratively creating a Safety Plan: 1) recognizing warning signs; 2) identifying internal coping strategies; 3) identifying other people or social settings for distraction; 4) identifying individuals to ask for help; 5) identifying professionals and agencies for help, and 6) making the environment safe. This training will include review and follow-up of the safety planning intervention.

Cognitive Therapy for Suicide Prevention (CT-SP):

Please note that due to high demand, we are currently booking CT-SP training into mid-to-late 2022.

CT-SP is an evidence-based, time-limited psychotherapy for the treatment of suicidal ideation and behaviors in adults and was developed by Gregory K. Brown, Ph.D. and Aaron T. Beck, M.D. CT-SP is unique from other cognitive-behavioral treatment protocols in that the explicit focus of therapy is suicide prevention rather than a primary psychiatric disorder. The beginning phase of treatment includes the narrative interview, creation of a cognitive conceptualization, development of treatment goals, and early interventions, including the establishment of the Safety Plan and the Hope Kit. The middle phase of therapy includes interventions specifically targeted to the treatment goals and may include problem-solving, cognitive restructuring, distress tolerance, and behavioral activation. The later phase of therapy includes consolidation of skills and a relapse prevention task. This workshop will include a didactic presentation and experiential exercises of the three phases of treatment.

Intensive Training in Cognitive Therapy for Suicide Prevention

In addition to stand-alone workshops, we may be able to offer consultation in CT-SP that can follow an experiential workshop. Consultation consists of weekly 90-minute small-group (e.g., 4 therapists to 1 Consultant) calls over a 6-month period. Participating therapists would be expected to enroll suicidal adult patients as training cases and submit audio-recorded sessions to their Consultant for review. Over the consultation period, Consultants would listen to submitted audio-recorded sessions and provide feedback using the Cognitive Therapy Rating Scale (CTRS) during the weekly consultation meetings.


Stanley, B., & Brown, G. K. (2012). Safety planning intervention: A brief intervention to mitigate suicide risk. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 19, 256-264.

Wenzel, A., Brown, G. K., & Beck, A. T. (2009). Early phase of treatment. In Cognitive Therapy for Suicidal Patients (pp. 126-152). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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