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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Suicide Prevention (CBT-SP) via Second Life

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Suicide Prevention
April Thompson, LCSW |  Erin Frick
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This intensive 2-day module provides training in the assessment and treatment of suicidal ideation and behavior.  Participants will receive in-depth training in cognitive-behavioral therapy for suicide prevention and will have the opportunity to practice assessment and intervention strategies.  Video demonstrations and participant role-plays will be used in class to practice key assessment and treatment techniques. The module lays the foundation for working with suicidal patients by providing a detailed review of the epidemiology of suicide both in the civilian population and within the military/veteran community. Participants will be introduced to the Self-Directed Violence Classification System (SDVCS), a nomenclature supported by the DoD/VA for self-directed violence and suicidal behavior. In addition, a review of several theories of suicide will be covered as well as a risk and protective factors for suicidal behavior.  The module is designed for behavioral health providers working with Service members and Veterans who are seeking in-depth training in empirically supported treatment options they can immediately incorporate into their clinical practice.  The training will provide hands on practice activities and is geared towards an actively involved audience through discussion and in workshop activities.  Participants must attend both days, as the course material is cumulative.


Course Level: Intermediate

Learning Objectives: 

  • Differentiate between rates of suicide in civilian and military populations and identify the clinical implications of these differences.
  • Categorize suicidal and non-suicidal thoughts and behaviors in relation to clinical assessment.
  • Communicate several warning signs for suicide that inform decisions about clinical interventions.
  • Apply at least one psychological theory of suicide to the process of clinical assessment and treatment planning.
  • Incorporate suicide risk and protective factors unique to military populations into overall risk assessment for suicide.
  • Scrutinize unique challenges associated with suicide risk assessment and prediction in the clinical setting.
  • Assess risk for suicide in a manner that is sensitive to both proximal and distal risk factors.
  • Collaborate with a patient to complete a safety plan.
  • Use means safety counseling in patient interactions to improve clinical outcomes.
  • Create a timeline of a patient's suicidal crisis for use in treatment.
  • Evaluate key negative thoughts associated with the intent to die by suicide as related to clinical practice.
  • Apply CBT formulation of suicide using the expanded case conceptualization model of the suicidal crisis.
  • Implement cognitive, behavioral and affective coping strategies utilized in CBT-SP to help patients cope with suicide urges.
  • Characterize the modifications to standard behavioral activation when applied within the CBT-SP protocol.
  • Utilize the guided imagery exercise as part of the relapse prevention protocol for CBT-SP.



Day One

1100 – 1115 Check-In


1115 – 1130 Introduction & Course Overview 1130 – 1150 Epidemiology of Suicide


1150 – 1230 Nomenclature


1230 – 1300 Risk and Protective Factors


1300 – 1320 Theoretical Underpinnings: Interpersonal Psychological Theory of Suicide Risk – Dr. Thomas Joiner


1320 – 1340 Theoretical Underpinnings: Three-Step Theory of Suicide – 

Drs. David Klonsky and Alexis May


1340 – 1355 Break


1355 – 1415 Cognitive Therapy for Suicide Prevention –

Empirical support for CBT


1415 – 1500 Intro to Cognitive Therapy for Suicide Prevention

Theory of CBT

Structure of treatment

Session structure


1500 – 1520 CBT for Suicide Prevention, Early Phase of Treatment – Overview 


1520 – 1620 Lunch


1620 – 1655 Fluid Vulnerability Theory  


1655 – 1825 CBT for Suicide Prevention, Early Phase of Treatment – 

Conducting a suicide risk assessment

Suicide risk continuum  

Suicide risk assessment role play


1825 – 1840 Break


1840 – 1910  Narrative Description


1910 – 1945 Constructing a Timeline


1945 – 2000 Questions and Wrap-up


2000 Adjourn


Day Two

1100 – 1130 Check-In


1130 – 1200 Nomenclature Homework Review 


1200 – 1300 Crisis Intervention

Hospitalization Safety planning

Crisis response plan

Hope Box


1300 – 1315 Break


1315 – 1445 Means Safety Counseling 

Means Safety Counseling Role Play 


1445 – 1530 Treatment Planning and Cognitive Case Conceptualization 


1530 – 1630 Lunch


1630 – 1745 Intermediate Phase of Treatment

Behavioral strategies Coping strategies 


1745 – 1800 Break


1800 – 1845 Intermediate Phase of Treatment Continued 

Cognitive strategies


1845 – 1945 Later Phase of Treatment –

Review and consolidation of skills Relapse prevention

Review of goals and treatment planning


1945 – 2000 Questions


2000 Adjourn


Please note that break times are approximate and subject to change.



This activity is approved for 14 continuing education credits (CEs)



The Center for Deployment Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Center for Deployment Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.




April Thompson, LCSW's Profile

April Thompson, LCSW Related seminars and products: 1

Military Behavioral Health Social Worker

Center for Deployment Psychology

April Thompson, LCSW, is a clinical social worker currently working as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Trainer with the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USU) in Bethesda, Maryland.  In this capacity, she is responsible for the development and delivery of both live and web-based trainings to military and civilian mental health providers on deployment-related topics.

Ms. Thompson received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA and her Master of Social Work degree from University of Pennsylvania. 

For over 20 years, Ms. Thompson has specialized in military child and family issues especially in the area of domestic violence and family maltreatment prevention, response and treatment.  She has worked as a clinical counselor on military bases in Japan, Florida, Virginia and Hawaii.  Prior to joining CDP, Ms. Thompson was a clinical care coordinator overseeing the training and quality control of clinical documentation for contracted counselors working at Navy bases throughout the continental United States.


Financial: April Thompson is employed by Center for Deployment Psychology.

Non-financial: April Thompson has no relevant non-financial relationships to disclose. 

Erin Frick's Profile

Erin Frick Related seminars and products:

Senior Military Behavioral Health Psychologist

11223 - Center for Deployment Psychology

Erin Frick, Psy.D., is an Evidence-Based Psychotherapy (EBP) Champion-Consultant with the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.  Located at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, Dr. Frick serves as an advocate for evidence-based mental health treatment utilization, provides consultation services, informs clinic process improvements, and develops toolkits designed to expand access to and availability of evidence-based psychotherapies.

Dr. Frick received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Manchester College in Indiana. She earned her master’s degree in mental health counseling from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and her doctorate in clinical psychology from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. 

Prior to coming to CDP, she was a contract psychologist treating active duty military members at Travis Air Force Base using EBPs including Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure (including the use of Virtual Reality Therapy), and Cognitive Behavioral Couples Therapy for PTSD. Prior to working with the military, she worked primarily in university counseling centers and community mental health.

Over the course of her career, Dr. Frick’s clinical work has focused on developing group therapy services in mental health clinics, training and supervising staff in the use of group therapy, mindfulness-based treatment, and the assessment and treatment of trauma-related mental health conditions.  

Financial: Erin Frick has an employment relationship with Center for Deployment Psychology.

Non-Financial: Erin Frick has no relevant nonfinancial relationships to disclose.


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We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call the Center for Deployment Psychology at 301-400-4160 or email

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