Clinical Training in Suicide Prevention

The Center for the Prevention of Suicide is pleased to offer group training for mental health clinicians within organizations in evidence-based assessment and treatment of suicidal ideation and behaviors. Workshops, intensive training, and expert consultation are available and described below.

Stanley-Brown Safety Planning Intervention (SPI): 

The Stanley-Brown 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. We offer both workshop and competency-based training in SPI. In the 4-hour 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. During competency-based training, participants will practice the SPI using roleplays in small groups and get feedback on their competency in order to prepare to pass a standardized patient roleplay to demonstrate competency in the SPI.

For training in the Safety Planning Intervention (SPI), please contact Gregory K Brown, PhD to discuss costs and your training needs.

Cognitive Therapy for Suicide Prevention (CT-SP):

Please note that due to high demand, we are currently booking CT-SP training into late 2024.

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. Our 2.5-day experiential workshop will include a didactic presentation, demonstration roleplays, and experiential exercises of the three phases of treatment.

CT-SP training is appropriate for licensed therapists who treat adults on an outpatient basis. Because CT-SP has not been adapted and tested with youth, we do not offer training in CT-SP for treating adolescents and children. If you are looking for a treatment to implement with suicidal youth, please refer to this recent SAMHSA review on evidence-based treatments for suicidal youth. 

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. Eligibility for consultation depends on organizational readiness and infrastructure to implement CT-SP.

For training in Cognitive Therapy for Suicide Prevention (CT-SP), please contact Kelly Green, Ph.D. to discuss costs and your training needs.


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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