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1375

Professional Counselors Conceptualizations of the Relationship between Suicide and Self-Injury

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Credit Value: 2
Exam Questions: 20
Passing Grade: 15 correct
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Course Description: This course is based upon material published in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling and is available as an open access article.

This study sought to increase understanding of the relationship between suicide and self-injury (SI). Advanced professional counselors were asked to discuss their conceptualizations of the relationship and how SI impacts clinical assessment and intervention. Data were collected via online survey. Analysis was conducted by a research team using qualitative content analysis. Categories identified were (a) the relationship between suicide and SI, (b) the functions of SI, (c) debate about the potential for elevated risk, (d) whether or not suicide risk should be assessed differently with clients who self-injure, (e) how SI may impact treatment planning and goals, (f) how professional counselors intervene with clients who self-injure, and (g) how SI is identified. Self-injury (SI) is nonsuicidal, volitionally self-inflicted harm to the body that is not socially sanctioned (Klonsky, Muehlenkamp, Lewis, & Walsh, 2011); suicide attempts involve self-injurious behavior with the intent to die (Claes et ah, 2010). Suicide and SI are among the most anxiety-provoking clinical issues professional counselors face. They are fairly common, potentially dangerous, difficult to predict, and challenging to treat (Janis & Nock, 2008). Although our understanding of each has increased in recent years, the relationship between suicide and SI remains unclear (Claes et ah, 2010). There is, however, an established link between the two–the risk of suicide is heightened among those who self-injure (Brausch & Gutierrez, 2010; Toprak, Cetin, Guven, Can, & Demircan, 2011).

This course on the relationship between suicide and self-injury is designed for social workers, professional counselors, psychologists, nurses, and substance abuse counselors, who do clinical work.  This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of suicide and self-injury treatment. The course material includes a brief literature review.  It may also be useful for licensed clinicians who require clinical continuing education courses for license renewal.  

Authors:  Whisenhunt, Chang, Brack, Orr, Adams, Paige

Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding suicide and self-injury treatment. Specifically, a professional will:

  • Describe the differences between suicide and self-injury.

  • Identify the functions of self-injury and its associated risks.

  • Recognize treatment planning and goals for suicidal patients.

Citation:  Whisenhunt, J. L., Chang, C. Y., Brack, G. L., Adams, L. G., Paige, (2014). Professional counselors’ conceptualizations of the relationship between suicide and self-injury. Journal of Mental Health Counseling. 

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Credits: 2 Exam Fee: $20.00 Format: Online
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Ce-Classes.com is approved by:

  • The American Psychological Association (APA) Ce-Classes.com is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Ce-Classes.com maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org Approved Continuing Education Program (ACE). Approval Period: 1/5/17 – 1/5/19. (Provider # 1142) Ce-Classes.com maintains responsibility for the program. Social Workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval.
  • Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 Clinical continuing education clock hours.

  • The National Association of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) Provider #96981. Expires 9/1/2017
  • This course is NOT available for NBCC credit


  • The Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling Provider #852 BAP-Expires 3/31/2017
  • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Ce-Classes.com is approved to provide continuing education by the following professional organizations: ASWB and APA. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences, BBS, recognizes relevant course work/training that has been approved by these nationally recognized certifying bodies to satisfy renewal requirements.
  • The California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) Provider Number OS-12-174-1116 Expires 11-2019
  • The Texas Board of Social Work Examiners, Continuing Education Provider – 5674 expires 4/30/2017.
  • The Texas Board of Professional Counselors, Continuing Education Provider – 1622 expires 2/28/2018.
  • Massachusetts Authorization Number: 1375
  • Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board – Provider # RCST031201 Expires 5/31/2017
  • New York Social Work Board NYSED Provider #120


  • The Florida Board of Nursing (CE Provider #: 50-4896) Expires 10/31/2018 Do not send certificates to the Florida Board of Nursing. You must keep this certificate for 4 years.
  • The California Board of Registered Nursing. CEP 15647 Expires 11/30/2018.


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