Seminar Detail

2-Day: Suicide & Self-Harm: Stopping the Pain AND Using the DSM-5® to Revolutionize Diagnosis & Treatment

Thursday, September 26, 2019 - Friday, September 27, 2019

Course Description:


Your client just revealed that she’s having suicidal thoughts … what do you do?

Does she have a gun? Has she written letters? Picked a location? Have hope something will change and doesn’t want to hurt family and friends?

Asking your client, “where do you hurt?” often reveals the focus of the suicidal intent or the purpose of the self-harm behaviors. As a clinician, it’s important to remember that even though you view suicide and self-harm behaviors as dysfunctional and maladaptive, your client views them as purpose-driven means of eliminating or managing unbearable levels of pain. For your client, these behaviors are beneficial, attractive, and helpful.

Even the most seasoned therapists struggle to develop an empathic view of their client’s devastating methods of managing emotional pain. Learning how to help clients discover the sources of their pain and providing them with healthy options for solving and managing these struggles in their lives is the key to hope.

Through case studies observed in his 45 years as a counselor and suicidologist, Jack Klott brings to life the ideas, theories and concepts you need to help your clients:
  • Identify the seven goals of self-harm
  • Implement a risk assessment strategy to determine who presents the highest risk for suicide and self-harm
  • Recognize the profound danger of engaging in “contracts” with your clients
  • Discuss the four essential elements of therapy with suicidal and self-harming clients
  • Understand how “fear of litigation” can severely detract from your ability to help the suicidal population
Join Jack for this one-of-a-kind seminar and learn how to help your clients confront the darkness of suicide and self-harm behaviors. Register today!


The arrival of the DSM-5® sent shockwaves through the mental health profession that are still being felt today. The DSM-5® had greatly changed the way we view, diagnose, and treat mental illness.

In this seminar, national speaker, author, and DSM® expert Jack Klott sheds light on the rationale behind the changes in the DSM-5® and the impact they have on certain diagnoses and, most important, on the way you diagnose. You will discover how to effectively use the DSM-5® to enhance your case conceptualization and treatment planning. You will explore those diagnostic categories and classifications that received the most dramatic reformulations and thus also the most controversy.

In many ways the DSM-5® enhances our understanding of the person we treat as it goes beyond a simple focus on behaviors. This seminar showcases this and the implications on treatment.
Register for one or both days:

Day 1: Suicide & Self-Harm: Stopping the Pain

Day 2: Using the DSM-5® to Revolutionize Diagnosis & Treatment

  1. Implement a risk assessment strategy that helps clinicians determine which clients present the highest risk for suicide and self-harm.
  2. Analyze the concept of suicide “contracts” and communicate their impacts on clients, clinicians, and clinical vigilance.
  3. Explain how intent differentiates self-mutilation from suicide attempts and accurately identify the one form of self-mutilation that is a warning sign for potential suicide completion.
  4. Implement techniques for effectively intervening in crisis situations and develop a strategy for determining when and how to hospitalize clients.
  5. Articulate the role of addictions in the suicidal and self-mutilating population and employ a multi-faceted therapeutic approach that ensures client safety and addresses treatment of the addiction.
  6. Determine the purpose behind self-injuring behavior and communicate how alternative coping strategies can be introduced in therapy to help clients manage triggering situations without engaging in self-harm.

  1. Describe the special and controversial features of the DSM-5® which sets it apart from previous versions of the manual.
  2. Analyze the focus on vulnerability to suicide found within the Trauma and Stress Related Disorders section of the DSM-5®.
  3. Explain the Severity Index and how it is used to validate diagnosis, direct focus of treatment, and evaluate treatment efficacy.
  4. Discuss the DSM-5® expanded and comprehensive approach to suicide and self-mutilation.
  5. Analyze how to best use the DSM-5® throughout the case conceptualization and treatment planning process.


The Guiding Principles

Research on Suicide and Research Limitations
  • Research on numbers/methods/treatment
  • Limitations of a “psychological autopsy”
  • No causality in research
The Neurobiological Basis of Suicide

Who Is At Risk?
  • Mental Disorders
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Trauma
    • Psychosis
    • Addictions
    • Personality Disorders
    • Other DSM-5® Considerations
  • Social Stress Factors
    • Adults Factors
    • Adolescent Factors
    • Childhood Factors
  • Psychological Vulnerabilities
    • Performance Anxiety
    • Emotional Constriction
    • Defenseless Personality
  • Adaptive Suicide Protectors
  • Maladaptive Suicide Protectors
  • Fueling Emotions to Suicide and Self-Harm
Non Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) – The Self-Harming Population
  • All Behaviors are Purposeful!
  • Relief from:
    • Dissociative Conditions
    • Self-Hate
    • Emotional Constriction
    • Psychosis
    • Anxiety and/or Depression
    • Loneliness, Isolation, Abandonment, Rejection
The Suicidal Population
  • Suicide Rehearsal – The Seventh Goal of NSSI
  • The Ideator
  • Suicide Threats for Secondary Gain
  • The Attempter/Completer
Assessment of Risk
  • When to Hospitalize the Ideator
  • Six Week Warning Signs for the Suicide Completer
  • Six Day Warning Signs for the Suicide Completer
Treatment Considerations for NSSI and Suicidal Populations
  • Identify the Locus of Pain
  • Empathic Regard
  • Provide Alternatives
  • The Role of Motivation
    • Reasons For Living
    • The Continuous Hope Providing Relationship
  • Mindfulness
  • Relationship Effectiveness
    • Opening Up Your Emotional Door
  • Emotional Regulation
    • The Safety Plan
    • The Crisis Plan
  • Avoid “Contracts”
The Therapist as a Survivor of Suicide


  • A brief overview of 60 years of evolution
  • Criticisms of the DSM® approach and how the DSM-5® deals with them
  • What is a mental disorder and what is NOT a mental disorder
  • DSM-5®’s classification and coding systems
  • The DSM-5®’s impact on case conceptualization and treatment planning
  • Special features
    • Differential diagnosis
    • Dystonic vs Syntonic Disorders
    • Severity Index
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders
    • Controversy over the new alignment
    • Saying good-bye to Asperger’s Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
    • The effort to reduce the stigma
    • The common experience of “psychosis”
  • Bipolar and Related Disorders
    • Erasing the “pediatric bipolar disorder” concept
    • The common experience of “psychosis”
  • Depressive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders
    • Are they really mental disorders?
    • Examine the risk for suicide and self-mutilation
  • Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
    • The real torture and its correlation to drug use
    • Explore expanded diagnostics
  • Trauma and Stress Related Disorders
    • Expanded diagnostics, criteria, and populations (children)
    • The focus on vulnerability to suicide
  • Dissociative Disorders
    • The ultimate childhood defense mechanism
    • Extreme controversy over validity
  • Somatic Symptom Disorders
    • The impact for primary care physicians
    • A possible ethical dilemma
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders
    • A new way of describing these addiction disorders
    • What is normal, and what is a mental disorder
  • Gender Dysphoria
    • The removal of sexual and gender identify disorders
    • Discussion of “gender incongruence”
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders
    • Defining the sociopathic child
    • An examination of the Dyssocial Personality
  • Substance Use and Addiction Disorders
    • How the DSM-5® describes addictions
    • Can behaviors become addictions?
  • The Non-Suicidal Self-Injurious Behavior and Suicide Behavior
    • An expanded method of describing
    • The “goals” of this behavior
  • Personality Disorders
    • What did change and what did not change … and WHY
    • Explore the traits “that affects relationships”
  • Adjustment Disorders
    • Should they remain mental disorders?
    • What is normal and what is pathological?
  • Section 3
    • What is in it, and why it is important
  • The development of a case conceptualization using the DSM-5®
  • Where to begin therapy to enhance success
  • Case studies
Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


Jack Klott, MSSA, LCSW, CSWW, Suicidologist, and national speaker has helped and educated tens of thousands in his 45 years of suicide and self-harm client work. Jack is a 35-year member of the American Association of Suicidology and was a founder of the Michigan Association of Suicidology (where he has been recognized for his contribution to suicide prevention in Michigan). He authored the national best-sellers The Suicide and Homicide Risk Assessment and Prevention Treatment Planner (Wiley, 2004), The Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment Planner (Wiley, 2006), and Suicide and Psychological Pain: Prevention That Works (PESI Publishing & Media, 2012). He is a popular and sought-after seminar speaker on suicide prevention, motivational Interviewing, co-occurring disorders and the DSM®. Attendees rave about his unique teaching gift of weaving expertise, passion and compassion into practical, understandable and usable information.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Jack Klott receives royalties as an author for PESI Publishing & Media and Wiley & Son Publishing. He receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Jack Klott is a member of the American Association of Suicidology; and the Michigan Association for Suicide Prevention.
Breakdown for Continuing Education Credits by Event
[+] [-] Suicide & Self-Harm: Stopping the Pain
[+] [-] Using the DSM-5® to Revolutionize Diagnosis & Treatment
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