Counselling Youth Who Are at Risk for Suicide: Working the Tensions

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47634/cjcp.v56i2.72243

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine how counsellors narrate their experiences of assessing and counselling youth who are at risk for suicide, the challenges and opportunities they face, and the conditions that support them in working in a relational, ethical, and useful way. Our analysis focused on how counsellors described their experiences working with youth who are at risk for suicide, the prevailing discourses and institutional requirements shaping their accounts of their practice, and some of the potential effects of these ways of thinking, talking, and relating. Our findings show some of the specific ways that counsellors “work the tensions” in their therapeutic encounters with youth who are at risk for suicide. This involves compliance and critique as well as artful reinterpretation. We hope to make a useful contribution to a growing body of practice-based evidence that recognizes the value of flexible, relational, and reflexive approaches to counselling youth who are at risk for suicide.

Author Biographies

Jennifer White, University of Victoria

Jennifer White is a professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria. Jennifer has practised in the field of youth suicide prevention since 1988. She has worked as a clinical counsellor, an educator, a policy consultant, a researcher, and a community developer.

Reg Fleming, Victoria, British Columbia

Reg Fleming is a program coordinator and a clinical supervisor at Island Health in Victoria, British Columbia. He has been a family therapist and a clinical supervisor for 30 years, and his work has focused on substance use and mental health with children, youth, and families. He has a long-standing interest in practice-based research, particularly in therapeutic outcomes for talk therapy.

Jennifer Harrison, University of Victoria

Jennifer Harrison is a graduate student in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria. Jennifer has worked alongside youth and families in advocacy, peer-to-peer support, systems navigation, and community engagement, which has led her to pursue her graduate degree.

Published

2022-08-26

How to Cite

White, J., Fleming, R. ., & Harrison, J. (2022). Counselling Youth Who Are at Risk for Suicide: Working the Tensions. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 56(2), 164–187. https://doi.org/10.47634/cjcp.v56i2.72243

Issue

Section

Articles/ Articles