BYEP Presents:

Advances in Suicide Assessment and Treatment Planning with Youth

with John Sommers-Flanagan, Ph.D.


Workshop Description: Suicide assessment, management, and treatment planning are considered the most stressful and challenging of all therapy situations. To address the stress and challenge of suicide, this workshop will focus on three broad suicide competencies, including, clinician self-awareness, suicide-relevant knowledge, and specific skills for working with client or student suicidality. You will learn specific skills for working with youth who are suicidal, such as, (a) strategies for asking directly about suicide, (b) how to deal with youth who are experiencing deep depression, hopelessness, and irritability, (c) approaches for engaging youth in collaborative suicide assessment and treatment planning, and (d) how to implement interventions designed to reduce suicidality.

This workshop will help participants:

1. View disclosure of suicide ideation as a positive part of the counseling process

2. Feel more comfortable and competent when working with youth who talk about suicide

3. Identify and describe four central myths that interfere with competent suicide assessment and treatment

4. Understand the limits of suicide risk/protective factors and suicide warning signs when conducting suicide assessments

5. View and assess suicidality and client/student strengths within six common life domains

6. Develop simple and straightforward youth-friendly treatment plans

7. Practice and apply several brief suicide assessment and intervention strategies

Workshop Date and Venue: Monday, August 19, 2019, in the Mary Stuart Rogers Performing Arts Center at Victor School, 425 4th Ave, Victor, MT 59875 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Registration price:

$50 for non-licensed participants

$100 for professionals who want Continuing Education Credits


Research Opportunity and Sponsorship: This workshop is supported by the Big Sky Youth Empowerment Program, the Bitterroot Valley Educational Cooperative, and John Sommers-Flanagan. To help us to continually improve this workshop and develop tools for working with youth who are suicidal, we ask that all participants complete research questionnaires during the workshop. The research data collection will help us better understand the effects of this workshop on clinician competence and comfort in working with youth who are suicidal. The first and last 20 minutes of the workshop will include completion of research questionnaires. These questionnaires also serve as a preview and review of workshop content. All research participants can also attend a free three-hour follow-up session where we provide further education and discuss the application of workshop content to specific cases. Thanks in advance for completing the questionnaires and contributing to our knowledge regarding the usefulness of this workshop.

Presenter Bio: John Sommers-Flanagan, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and professor of counselor education at the University of Montana. He has authored over 100 articles and eight books, including Tough Kids, Cool Counseling (2007), How to Listen so Parents Will Talk and Talk so Parents Will Listen (2011), and Clinical Interviewing (6th ed., 2017). Portions of his three-volume video training series, Assessment and Intervention with Suicidal Clients (, 2019) are featured in this workshop.