Clinical Training in Suicide Prevention

The Center for the Prevention of Suicide at the Aaron T. Beck Psychopathology Research Center 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. Please contact Dr. Gregory Brown to discuss costs and your training needs.


We offer workshops ranging from half-day to multi-day in the following areas:

Suicide Risk Assessment

In this workshop, participants will learn to assess both risk and protective factors for suicide as part of a comprehensive risk assessment, in addition to strategies to continually assess risk over the course of treatment. Following the workshop, trainees will receive ongoing monitoring of risk assessments.

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):

CT-SP is an evidence-based, time-limited psychotherapy for the treatment of suicidal ideation and behaviors 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 also offer an intensive training option that includes a three-day workshop in Cognitive Therapy for Suicide Prevention plus weekly consultation on audio-taped cases. The weekly consultation will occur by phone or Skype and occur either individually (30 or 60-minute consultation session) or in a group (60 to 120 minutes with 6 or fewer clinicians per group). In addition to weekly consultation sessions, Instructors will also listen to audio-taped sessions and provide written feedback using the Cognitive Therapy Rating Scale (CTRS).


We are also able to offer expert consultation by phone or Skype on an hourly basis.


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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