Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) leads the field of psychotherapy in the evidence-based study and treatment of many psychological disorders. However, CBT has been less prominently applied to the study and prevention of suicidal behaviors. This volume is a compilation of theory, research, and intervention practices focused on cognition and suicide. It brings together for the first time many of the world's leading authorities, who seek to answer such questions as, "How is the thinking of suicidal individuals different from nonsuicidal individuals?" "What cognitive vulnerabilities place an individual at risk for developing suicidal ideation and behavior when stressed?" "How does what we know of the thinking of suicidal people translate into cognitive-behavioral treatment strategies?"
Each contributor discusses a particular theoretical and/or research framework, often with specific guidelines for clinical intervention tailored to specific cognitive vulnerabilities exhibited by suicidal patients. All of the major CBT theoretical systems are represented, including Aaron Beck's Cognitive Therapy, Albert Ellis's Rational-Emotive Behavior Therapy, and Marsha Linehan's Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Specific empirically-derived cognitive features are also addressed, such as deficient problem-solving skills, perfectionism, negative body image, and overgeneral autobiographical memory.
Implications for understanding and intervening with suicidal individuals are profound—suicidal thought processes are viewed here as causal (as opposed to merely correlated) factors in suicidality. Such thoughts, perhaps for the first time, begin to be viewed, not only as part of the problem, but as part of a potential solution.