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1 suicide Alan Apter M.D Feinberg Child Study Center
Schneider Children’s Medical Center

2 Suicidal Behaviour: a Major Public Health Problem in Europe
In many European countries suicide is the leading cause of death among young people – more common than death from road accidents

3 SUICIDE DEFINITIONS EPIDEMIOLOGY AETIOLOGY/RISK FACTORS
CLINICAL CONSIDERATIONS

4 SUICIDE PRIMARY PREVENTION SECONDARY PREVENTION TERTIARY PREVENTION

5 DEFINITIONS

6 Suicide Spectrum Suicidal ideation "Thoughts of serving as the agent of one’s own death. Suicidal ideation may vary in seriousness depending on the specificity of suicide plans and the degree of suicidal intent" Suicidal threats Suicidal gestures "Suicidal behaviors judged to be “non-serious” in intent or medical lethality"

7

8 Suicide Spectrum Deliberate self harm: Willful self-inflicting of painful, destructive, or injurious acts without intent to die Suicide attempts: Self-injurious behavior with a nonfatal outcome accompanied by evidence (either explicit or implicit) that the person intended at some level to kill him/her

9 Suicide Spectrum Interrupted attempt: The person is interrupted (by an outside circumstance) from starting the self-injurious act

10 Continuum Theory Of Suicide
Suicidal Thoughts leads to Suicidal Threats Leads to

11 Failed Suicide leads to Completed Suicide
Suicidal Gestures Leads to Suicide Attempts leads to Failed Suicide leads to Completed Suicide

12 Discontinuity Theory Suicidal Ideation Suicidal Threats Suicidal Gestures Suicide Attempts Serious Suicide Attempts

13

14 Suicide attempts Completed suicide

15 Consequences of Suicidal Behavior
School dropout Leaving home Motor accidents Police arrest Whole spectrum of high risk behavior

16 EPIDEMIOLOGY

17 EPIDEMIOLOGY SEX AGE GEOGRAPHY SOCIECONOMIC STATUS ETHNICITY RELIGION
COHORT STATUS

18 EPIDIMIOLOGY OF SUICIDE
300% rise in fatal suicide >700% rise in non fatal suicidal behavior 10- 30% of adolescents think seriously about suicide

19 Attempted Suicide Between 100 and 300 per 100,000
Preponderance of females in all countries 50 percent of attempters under 30 Excess of divorced persons

20 Attempted Suicide Rates
Lower social classes overrepresented Depression in 35 to 79 percent of cases Females aged 15 to 19 - highest rates 1 in 100 in this group attempt suicide each year Highest rate for males is in aged 25 to 29 1 in 200 attempts suicide each year

21 Suicide Suicide rates increase with age
Male suicides peak after age 45 Females peak after age 55 Rates of 40 per 100,000 men > 65

22 Suicide Males at all ages commit suicide more often than females
Male: female suicide ratios range from 2:1 to 7:1 Males use more violent methods, like hanging, shooting, and jumping

23 Suicide Females more often overdose or drown
Ethnic and minority groups tend to be more cohesive and have lower suicide rates Rate of suicide among whites is nearly twice that among nonwhites (in the US)

24

25 Attempted suicide by age and sex – Holon-Bat Yam

26

27 Suicide by age

28

29 SUICIDE IN INDIA

30 Homicide and suicide rates by year

31 Total suicide rates per 100,000 for 15 year olds and over in European countries
Source: World Health Statistics Annuals (WHO). Latest available year. Wasserman, D., Jiang, GX.

32 Change in percentage of suicide rates for males aged 15 years and over in European countries between and Source: World Health Statistics Annuals (WHO). Latest available year. Wasserman, D., Jiang, GX.

33 EPIDEMIOLOGY ELDERLY COMMIT/YOUNG ATTEMPT PROTESTANTS>CATHOLICS>
JEWS>MUSLIMS POOR ATTEMPT/RICH COMMIT BLACKS<WHITES HISPANICS AND S.EUROPEANS ATEMPT

34 AETIOLOGY/RISK FACTORS

35 AETIOLOGY/RISK FACTORS
PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS ALCAHOLISM & SUBSTANCE ABUSE PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL ABUSE FAMILY AND GENETICS

36 Risk Factors (ii) CONTAGION AVAILABILITY OF MEANS PERSONALITY FACTORS
BIOLOGY

37 PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS DEPRESSION SCHIZOPHRENIA ANXIETY DISORDERS
DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS

38 PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS CONDUCT DISORDER ANOREXIA NERVOSA BULIMIA NERVOSA
PERSONALITY DISORDERS

39 Risk factors for youth suicide
Psychiatric disorder/Affective disorder Personality disorder- especially BPD Psychiatric illnesses – dangerous when more than one illness is present

40 Four co-morbid constellations
The combination of schizophrenia, depression and substance abuse Substance abuse, conduct disorder and depression Affective disorder, eating disorder and anxiety disorders Affective disorder, personality disorder and dissociate disorder

41 ALCAHOLISM & SUBSTANCE ABUSE
SELF MEDICATION INCREASES IMPULSIVITY AFFFECTS JUDGEMENT EXACERBATES DEPRESSION PROVIDES COURAGE

42 Personality Factors Adolescents committing suicide while doing their military service in the IDF Clinical work on an adolescent psychiatric inpatient unit Work in the ER

43 Three sets of personality constellations
Narcissism , perfectionism and the inability to tolerate failure Impulsive and aggressive characteristics combined with over sensitivity Hopelessness often related to underlying depression

44

45 The narcissistic perfectionist constellation (case 1)
David told us that since age 8 he had been concerned by thoughts of death. At 11 he told his friends that he would kill himself on the day of his Bar-Mitzvah. A week before the event he wrote an elaborate suicide note addressed to his parents in which he stated that he did not believe in the hereafter and that he would just “cease to exist”.

46 Contd Despite being popular at school it soon became clear that David had no intimate friendships. After one year of therapy and extensive psychological testing and observation no axis I diagnosis could be made.

47 Case 2 Jonathan was a 20 year old officer when he killed himself. His family was achievement oriented and had high moral standards. Their ideals stressed controlling one’s emotions and living up to high standards. Jonathan was a natural leader and popular with his teachers and peers. In the army he excelled and was selected as an instructor for new recruits. His superior commended him for his ability to perform under stress.

48 Case 2 He became totally involved in his new duties.
His platoon of trainees did rather well, although their overall performance rating was only average. Following the course ceremony Jonathan went to his room and shot himself.

49 Features of psychological post mortem soldiers
Strong narcissistic and perfectionist patterns Schizoid traits in personality The will to prove their worth High self – expectations and hopes Termed by being private/isolated people

50 THESE FEATURES ARE OFTEN COMPLICATED BY STRONG ISOLATIVE TRAITS

51 Distribution Of Axis II Diagnoses Within Complete Suicide Group

52 Case features No turning for help or support
Minor setbacks spiral into disaster “Better death than shame”

53 THE IMPULSIVE AGGRESSIVE CONSTELLATION

54 Case material – case 1 Deborah had always been impulsive and oppositional from an early age. At about the age of 11 she developed anorexia nervosa probably as a result of her being an accomplished dancer in a ballet troop. With the onset of adolescence she developed very severe bulimia.

55 Her first admission to a psychiatric unit was occasioned by a suicide note, which she wrote to her teacher at school. In the unit she was “an impossible patient”. By the time she was 22 she had made over 100 suicide attempts. She received all kinds of psychosocial and biological therapies but to no avail, although with age (now 25) there is some tempering of her emotional instability.

56 Case material – case 2 Amit, an 18 year old soldier killed himself a few months after joining the army. He had grown up under conditions of economic deprivation. The home atmosphere consisted of his mother’s angry accusations and father’s passive silences.

57 Case 2 (contd.) Amit did poorly in elementary school, however managed to complete a vocational high school with fairly good grades. During high school his behavior changed and he became more compliant. Amit looked forward to his army service, feeling that it would make a man out of him and requested a frontline unit. He was a highly motivated recruit but tended to become flustered under stress .

58 Case 2 (cont.) Once when returning late from a home pass, he was told that his next leave was cancelled. He became irritable and angry. When the teaching staff on the base broached the possibility of him being unsuitable for a front-line unit he became upset and insisted on continuing. While resting after a training exercise the other recruits began taunting him, Amit lost his temper and attacked his tormenter. When the 2 were separated, he ran to his tent and shot himself with his weapon.

59 Personality constellation
There are certain individuals who, when faced with relatively minor life stressors will react with anger and anxiety and then develop a secondary depression which is often accompanied by suicidal behavior.

60 Van Praag (1997) “serotonin-related anxiety/aggression stressor precipitated depression”

61 Thanatos A tendency towards impulsive aggression may predispose suicidal behavior The risk increases when psychiatric disorder and impulsive aggressive personality traits co-occur (Kety, 1986) The wish to die; the wish to kill and the wish to be killed (Freud’s “death instinct”)

62 Adults vs. youngsters There is now substantial evidence that suicide in younger people is a somewhat different phenomenon than among adults Specifically, there is more impulsivity, substance abuse and other personality disorders in younger completed suicides

63 Genetics of suicidal behavior
Impulsivity and aggression are likely to be involved in the genetics of suicidal behavior Higher familial loading for suicidal behavior was found in those attempters and completers who made more dangerous attempts and who were more aggressive

64 Serotonin, suicide and aggression
Finding the link between altered serotonergic neurotransmission, suicidal behavior and impulsive violence Orders of magnitude have been noted in the correlations between measures of serotonin, suicide attempts, aggression and impulsive risk taking

65 Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
Traditionally associated with non fatal attempts and intentional self-damaging acts One of the critical symptoms is “affective instability” Most adolescent patients require psychiatric help and often suffer from major depression

66 Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
Anger and Violence - related symptoms. Co morbid conditions: conduct disorder, “multi-impulsive” bulimia and substance abuse About 9% of patients eventually kill themselves

67 Impulsivity The adolescent period in contemporary Western society is characterized by a distinctive pattern of morbidity and mortality Suicidal behavior and completed suicide are more common in adolescence than in any other developmental epoch (save, for males, in old age)

68 Impulsivity Leading causes of adolescent deaths ( in the West) – accidents, homicide, and suicide--are preventable Associated with life-styles characterized by impulsivity, recklessness, and substance or alcohol use

69 Impulsivity Adolescence in the industrialized world characterized by increased health-threatening behaviors Tobacco, alcohol, and drug use; unprotected sex; fighting; reckless driving; and weapon-carrying (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000)

70 “Continuum of Self Destructiveness"
Covert (e.g. substance use, unprotected and precocious sexual activity, reckless driving) Overt (e.g. self-mutilation and suicide attempts) Suicidal behaviors and other risk behaviors share an association with psychiatric diagnoses such as mood, disruptive, substance use, and anxiety disorders

71 MENTAL-ILLNESS DEMORALIZATION – HOPLESSNESS CONSTELLATION

72 Case material – case 1 David, aged 18, came from a family with a distinguished military background. He appeared to have had a poor self image during his school years, with intermittent periods of depression, insomnia, and weight loss.

73 case 1 David really looked forward to his army service, hoping that success there would redeem his low self esteem. He applied to join an elite commando unit but was turned down by the unit psychologist.

74 case 1 However, after advanced training David was posted to a combat unit. He seemed to do well but complained to his parents of being unable to cope. His parents alerted the unit mental health officer, who interviewed David. During the examination David denied experiencing any depression or suicidal thoughts, but David was reassigned. The reassignment made David feel like a “failure” soon thereafter he fatally shot himself.

75 Case material – case 2 (“The case of Ellen West”)
Ellen West was the daughter of wealthy Jewish parents who had great control over her. Her father interfered twice when she became engaged, and when she finally married it was to a cousin.

76 Ellen West From age 19 she developed the fear of becoming fat and by 21 had developed Anorexia Nervosa. She was hospitalized but this only increased her suicidal thoughts. She was discharged from the sanatorium at the request of her family.

77 “The case of Ellen West”
On the third day after returning home she appeared to be a changed person; she ate and enjoyed a walk with her husband. That evening she took a lethal dose of poison.

78 Eating disorders Adolescents with Bulimia Nervosa highly prone to suicidal behaviors Impulsive and unstable life style. Often make serious suicide attempts, which sometimes succeed. Multi-impulsive bulimia was coined to describe the increasingly more common association between bulimia, BPD, substance abuse, depression and conduct disorder. Although most patients with this co-morbid constellation of disorders are women, they are nevertheless at risk of repeated Para-suicide and fatal suicide.

79 The Canterbury suicide project
A case control study. It was found that there was an elevated risk for mood disorder, substance disorder and conduct disorder. The study looked at male and female Finnish adolescents 10 years after having received outpatient psychiatric care. They found that 16 male subjects but no female subjects had died.

80 Study findings Current suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, poor psychosocial functioning and a recommendation for psychiatric hospitalization during the index treatment were associated with male mortality and suicidality. The study found that 10% of male adolescent inpatients and about 1% female inpatients eventually kill themselves.

81 Study at psychiatric unit
One group recently surveyed admissions to our adolescent unit for a period of 24 months Most suicidal patients suffered from Affective and Conduct disorder, others had eating disorders or anxiety disorders The recent upsurge of drug and alcohol abuse in our country has led to an even higher incidence of suicidal patients in our ward

82 Depression Major depression appears acutely in a previously healthy child. Many other difficulties such as attention disorder or separation anxiety disorder before becoming depressed Mood disorders tend to be chronic In some cases they may be psychotic and have hallucinations and delusions of guilt

83 Bipolar disorder Approximately 20% of all patients have their first episode during adolescence (bet.15-19) Lack of clinician awareness has led to under diagnosis or misdiagnosis in children and adolescents

84 Unique clinical characteristics associated with the early-onset form :
Manic or depressive episodes Increased risk for completed suicides. Strober et al (1995) Subjects made at least one medically significant suicide attempt. Depressive and manic depressive disorders. Patients who are male or in the depressed phase are at higher risk. A major clinical problem is that severe depression is common in almost all the patients and it’s difficult to determine what is primary and what is secondary.

85 Schizophrenia A common psychiatry disorder of adolescence
Some clinicians are hesitant to make this diagnosis which denies the child and family access to appropriate treatment When the diagnosis is made the patient must be followed longitudinally to ensure accuracy

86 Patients and families should be educated about these issues
Many patients are depressed and suicidal. About 10%-15% of patients eventually commit suicide Most victims are unmarried men who have made previous suicide attempts (often shortly after discharge) Many adolescent patients also abuse drugs and alcohol - sometimes an attempt at self medication

87 Study Participants : 32 adolescent inpatients with affective disorders (16 suicidal and 16 non-suicidal) 33 adolescent inpatients diagnosed with BPD (17 suicidal and 16 non-suicidal)

88 The BDI; BHS; SPS; SIS; ICS; OAS; MAI; SRM.
All subjects were diagnosed using the Hebrew version of the children’s version of K-SDADS. The subjects were examined on 8 measures relevant to suicidal behavior: The BDI; BHS; SPS; SIS; ICS; OAS; MAI; SRM. Three dimensions were found on factor analysis: Anger-impulsivity-aggression Depression and hopelessness Suicidality

89 Anger Anger in subjects was examined via a two way analysis of variance (diagnosis/suicidality) Only diagnosis was found to significantly be associated with anger (F1,61=17.31;p>0.0001) being significantly higher in the BPD subjects than in the depressive adolescents The pair-wise Scheffe however showed that anger was significantly higher in the BPD suicidals than in the depressed non-suicidals

90 Impulsivity Impulsivity in subjects was examined by a two way analysis of variance (diagnosis/suicidality). Only diagnosis was found to significantly be associated with impulsivity (F1,61=33.66;p<0.0001), with anger being significantly higher in the BPD subjects than in the depressive adolescents. There was also a strong inter-action between impulsivity suicidality and diagnosis (F1,61=4.47;p<0.039). Thus impulsivity was higher in BPD than in depressive and in suicidal BPD compared to non-suicidal BPD. There was no difference between depressive suicidals and depressive non-suicidals. In addition BPD non-suicidal subjects were more impulsive than depressive suicidal subjects. Thus impulsivity does not appear to play an important role in suicidal depression in adolescents.

91 Overt Aggression Aggression in subjects was examined by two way analysis of variance (diagnosis/suicidality). Diagnosis was found to significantly be associated with impulsivity (F1,61=19.14;p<0.0001) as was suicidality (F1,61=18.75;p<0.0001), with anger being significantly higher in the BPD subjects than in the depressive adolescents. Aggression was significantly higher in the BPD suicidals than the BPD non-suicidals but did not differentiate between the depressed suicidals and the depressed non-suicidals. Thus impulsivity does not appear to play an important role in suicidal depression in adolescents.

92 Depressive symptoms and Hopelessness
Depressive symptoms (BDI) in subjects was examined by two way analysis of variance (diagnosis/suicidality). Only suicidality was found to significantly be associated with depressive symptoms (F1,61=31.99;p<0.0001), with depressive symptoms being significantly higher in the suicidal subjects than in the non-suicidal adolescents in both diagnostic categories. Exactly the same findings were shown for hopelessness (F1,61=26.31;p<0.0001).

93 Suicide Intent SIS was significantly higher in the depressed subjects than in the BPD subjects (t(31)=2.69p<0.011). SIS correlated negatively and significantly with impulsivity and aggression.

94 Suicide Risk Was higher for suicidal than non-suicidal subjects but did not differentiate between BPD and depressive suicidals.

95 Conclusions Suicidal behavior in depressed adolescents differs from that of BPD adolescents and the recognized connection between impulsivity, aggression and suicidality may well relate to BPD and conduct disorder only. This has important implications for adolescent suicide research in general since additional findings regarding the association with trauma, sex abuse, broken families, dissociation and drug abuse may also be related to only one specific type of suicide. Suicidal behavior can no longer be regarded as on homogenous group of behaviors and although the non-nosological approach developed by Van Praag et al (1997) has been a very fruitful one, diagnostic and personality differences may well have a part to play in the understanding of suicide.

96 Canterbury Suicide Project

97

98 Clinical Settings Primary Care settings (family or pediatric practices) Mental health outpatient departments (OPD) Emergency rooms (ER) Intensive care units (ICU) Residential treatment programs

99 Primary Care Early Detection of Internalizing Disorders
Early Treatment of Internalizing Disorders Early Referral of Internalizing Disorders Referral of Externalizing Disorders e

100 Early Detection Education regarding Childhood Depression and Anxiety
Routinely Examining for Childhood Depression and Anxiety Routine Screening for suicidal ideation (Gould et al., 2005)

101 Early Treatment Psycho education (Harrington, 2003)
Psychopharmacology (TADS, 2005) Attenuation of Psychosocial Risk Factors (e.g. reporting abuse)

102 Early Referral Psychotherapies are best before complications set in
Obviates long waiting lists for urgent cases Facilitates secondary prevention

103 Internalizing Disorders- Summary
Gatekeeper education in terms of pediatricians is much under-researched In adult primary care Depression and other psychiatric disorders are under-recognized and under-treated in the primary care setting There is an opportunity for prevention because up to 83% of those who die by suicide have had contact with a primary care physician (PCP) within a year of their death, and up to 66% within a month.

104 Internalizing Disorders- - Summary
PCPs’ lack of knowledge about and/or failure to screen patients for depression may contribute to non-treatment seen in most suicides Therefore, improving physicians' recognition of depression and suicide risk is a component of most national suicide prevention plans However the special role of the pediatrician is still neglected

105 Externalizing Disorders
PCP often called upon to deal with those externalizing disorders that highly predispose to suicidal behavior. Include conduct disorders, attention deficit disorders and psychosexual disorders. Diagnosis is often all too evident and the primary role of PCP is to alert and mobilize the appropriate social, educational and legal authorities.

106 Externalizing Disorders
Pediatricians and specialists in adolescent medicine need to be trained in the diagnosis of sexual and physical abuse, the early stages of drug and alcohol abuse and to learn to look for the physical signs of self cutting and disordered eating practices

107 Emergency Room Management
Establish relationship with suicidal individual and family Stress importance of treatment Admit suicide attempters with persistent wish to die or clearly abnormal mental state. Obtain information from third-party.

108 Emergency Room Management
Availability and presence in the home of firearms and lethal medication must be determined parents must be explicitly told to remove firearms and lethal medication . warn about the dangerous disinhibiting effects of alcohol and other drugs.

109 Emergency Room Value of "no-suicide contracts" is not known.
The child or adolescent might not be in a mental state to accept or understand the contract, and both family and clinician should know not to relax their vigilance just because a contract has been signed. An appointment should be scheduled for the child or adolescent to be seen for a fuller evaluation before discharge from the emergency room.

110 Emergency Room Management
available to the patient and family (for example, receive and make phone calls outside of therapeutic hours) have adequate physician coverage if away have experience managing suicidal crises have support available for him or herself

111 AFTER CARE No after care was recommended to 28.5% of the boys and 25.7% of the girls A negative attitude towards care and treatment staff is not unusual among young people

112 AFTER CARE It is also common not only for adults, but also for young people to deny suicide acts with great vehemence (Spirito 1996). Parents’ lack of involvement, ignorance of the suicide attempt, possibly negative attitude of their own towards care and desire to trivialize the suicide attempt make it easier for a teenager to turn down an offer of treatment.

113 Intensive Care Units The Canterbury Suicide Project
Almost equal numbers of males and females made serious suicide attempts Severe psychiatric disturbance

114 Intensive Care Units (Apter A, et al. , Compr
Intensive Care Units (Apter A, et al., Compr. Psychiatry 42 (1) :70-75, 2001) 80 subjects 20 ICU suicidal,20 non-ICU suicidal, 20 psychiatric non –suicidal and 20 control subjects ICU subjects had significant lower levels of self disclosure

115 Mental Health OPD PCP - secondary prevention.
Are expected to detect those young people who are at risk for suicide OPD -children who have already attempted suicide Tertiary prevention

116 Mental Health OPD No treatment has been proven fully effective in an outpatient setting depression is the most common diagnosis behavioral disorders common. (Kerfoot et al.,1996). Also PTSD, eating disorders and schizophrenia (Herrington & Saleem, 2003).

117 Psychosocial treatments
domiciliary oriented “outreach” programs motivational enhancement methods, Both non-effective in preventing suicide (Raj, Kumaraiah & Bhide, 2001).

118 Psychosocial treatments
Dialectical behavior therapy effective in reducing suicide rate in a 6 month follow-up, non-significant in a 1-year follow-up (Linehan, Armstrong, Suarez et al., 1991) Problem-solving skills training effective to a certain extent in decreasing psychological distress and the number of suicide attempts (Salkovskis, Atha & Storer, 1990).

119 Consequences of Suicidal Behavior
School dropout Leaving home Motor accidents Police arrest Whole spectrum of high risk behavior

120 Treatment Poor compliance Is Emergency room intervention enough?
Mandatory hospitalization as a policy

121 Suicidal Behavior Suicide and suicide attempts are frequently associated with: Axis I disorder Depression Co-morbid conditions

122 Risk factors beyond psychopathology
One of the most pressing clinical research questions is to determine what factors predispose suicide.

123 Risk factors for suicidal behavior
Social factors: Unemployment Poverty Availability of guns “National character” Biological factors Personal factors

124 Adults vs. youngsters There is now substantial evidence that suicide in younger people is a somewhat different phenomenon than among adults. Specifically, there is more impulsivity, substance abuse and other personality disorders in younger completed suicides.

125 Genetics of suicidal behavior
Impulsivity and aggression are likely to be involved in the genetics of suicidal behavior. Higher familial loading for suicidal behavior was found in those attempters and completers who made more dangerous attempts and who were more aggressive.

126 Serotonin, suicide and aggression
Finding the link between altered serotonergic neurotransmission, suicidal behavior and impulsive violence. Orders of magnitude have been noted in the correlations between measures of serotonin, suicide attempts, aggression and impulsive risk taking.

127 Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
Traditionally associated with non fatal attempts and intentional self-damaging acts. One of the critical symptoms is “affective instability” Most adolescent patients require psychiatric help and often suffer from major depression. Anger and Violence - related symptoms. Co morbid conditions: conduct disorder, “multi-impulsive” bulimia and substance abuse. About 9% of patients eventually kill themselves.

128 MENTAL-ILLNESS DEMORALIZATION – HOPLESSNESS CONSTELLATION

129 Case material – case 1 David, aged 18, came from a family with a distinguished military background. He appeared to have had a poor self image during his school years, with intermittent periods of depression, insomnia, and weight loss. David really looked forward to his army service, hoping that success there would redeem his low self esteem. He applied to join an elite commando unit but was turned down by the unit psychologist. However, after advanced training David was posted to a combat unit. He seemed to do well but complained to his parents of being unable to cope. His parents alerted the unit mental health officer, who interviewed David. During the examination David denied experiencing any depression or suicidal thoughts, but David was reassigned. The reassignment made David feel like a “failure” soon thereafter he fatally shot himself.

130 Case material – case 2 (“The case of Ellen West”)
Ellen West was the daughter of wealthy Jewish parents who had great control over her. Her father interfered twice when she became engaged, and when she finally married it was to a cousin. From age 19 she developed the fear of becoming fat and by 21 had developed Anorexia Nervosa. She was hospitalized but this only increased her suicidal thoughts. She was discharged from the sanatorium at the request of her family. On the third day after returning home she appeared to be a changed person; she ate and enjoyed a walk with her husband. That evening she took a lethal dose of poison.

131 Types of Self-Harm Superficial self-injurious behavior (SIB) such as self-cutting, scraping, burning (associated with Cluster B personality disorders, eating disorders, stress disorders) Repetitive Stereotypical Behavior such as head banging and self biting (associated with intellectual disability, e.g. MR, autism) Major self mutilation such as self blinding and castration (rare; occurs in psychotic disorders and substance intoxication) Harris, JC, 2005 James C. Harris, M.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University

132 SIB as a “stress related disorder”
Common in laboratory animals, and domestic animals under stress, neglect, or isolation Acral lick syndrome in dogs, feather plucking in birds, self-biting in rhesus monkeys Prevalence in normal human development: 3.6 to 6.5% head banging rate at 8-36 months; associated with teething, ear infections. Generally terminates by 36 mos. Harris, JC (2005) 15% head banging rate at 9-18 mos. (Hammock et al, 1995) Self-stimulation when under stress is a universal phenomenon. Using behavior to regulate affect. Acral lick syndrome=excessive licking, biting, chewing typically of legs and feet Hammock, Schroeder, & Levine, 1995

133 Prevalence of SIB Among patients with eating disorders, 34.6% had a life-time rate of SIB (N=376). (Paul et al, 2002) Community samples in the U.S. vary in estimates from 4% to 38% of adolescents. Canadian study found 13.9% of urban and suburban high school students had self-injured (Ross & Heath, 2002). A British report noted a 65% increase in SIB disclosures to national children’s hotlines from 1999 to 2004. Because this behavior so often occurs in private, often untreated, it is difficult to measure prevalence. Most studies rely on samples from clinical settings; there are few community samples. Community samples: (Briere & Gil, 1998; Favazza, 1992; Gratz, Conrad, & Roemer, 2002; Kokaliari, 2005; Muehlenkamp & Guiterrez, 2004.)– these studies are limited by small convenience-based samples. British report: (Young People and Self Harm: A National Inquiry, 2004).----www.selfharmuk.org/inform.asp

134 Distinguishing SIB from Suicidal Behavior
Suicidal behavior is distinct from SIB in terms of motivation, intent, and lethality. Suicidal behavior is accompanied by some degree of wish to die and intent to die; i.e. the patient believes that the behavior will possibly, or will definitely, result in death. Carefully assess motivations (to die, to escape, to influence someone, to communicate feelings, to relieve emotional distress, and intent (what was the expected outcome of the behavior?)

135 Suicide Continuum Passive Death Wish Suicidal Ideation, no method
Suicidal Ideation with method Gesture Attempt Completion Add threat (verbal or written) Note that self-injury does NOT fall within the continuum.

136 Assessing Current Safety
Assess the presence or absence of suicidality and the degree of severity (frequency, intensity, duration) over the past 48 hours or since last visit. Negotiate No-Suicide/No Harm “Safety Plan.” Collaborate and review this plan with family. If family conflict is a common precipitant to suicidality or self harm, help teen and family negotiate a “truce.” Prior to beginning treatment, and prior to EACH session, must assess for suicidality. At beginning of treatment must negotiate the safety contract, and must refine and reaffirm at every session… NEXT slide will discuss how to do

137 Formulating the Safety Plan
A collaborative process Includes the phone numbers of trusted adults, therapist, 24-hour emergency coverage Includes a set of coping strategies (written card containing specific emotion regulation skills, relaxation skills, social supports, coping statements, “hope kit”) A promise between teen, parents and therapist, that teen will contact a responsible adult or therapist before acting on suicidal impulses Emphasis: Communicate to the teen that appropriate professional help is accessible in a crisis and when necessary, make clear to teens how that help can be accessed

138 Contract and Commitment Phase
Establishing a “commitment” to treatment from both teen and family ___agrees to do whatever it takes to say alive during the period of this contract. This contract lasts from __ to__

139 Contract and Commitment Phase (continued)
Priorities for intervention are as follows: I. Decreasing life threatening behaviors cutting, overdosing, any tissue damage or other life threatening behavior II. Decreasing therapy interfering behaviors (any behavior that makes therapy less likely to occur) Refusing to bring in or get rid of razors or other dangerous objects Any other therapy interfering behaviors KIM: CAN ALSO DISCUSS: III. DECREASING QUALITY OF LIFE INTERFERING BEHAVIORS. THESE WOULD BE THINGS LIKE DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE, NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP ETC. DECIDE HOW MUCH OF THE CONTRACT YOU WANT TO DISCUSS…

140 Patient Agreements Stay in therapy for the specified time.
Attend scheduled therapy sessions. Work toward reducing suicidal behaviors/self-injurious behaviors as a goal of therapy. Work on problems that arise that interfere with progress in therapy. From Marsha Linehan’s DBT

141 Therapist Agreements Make every reasonable effort to conduct competent and effective therapy. Obey standard ethical and professional guidelines. Be available for weekly therapy sessions, phone consultations, and provide needed therapy back- up when on vacation or away. Respect the integrity of and rights of the patient. Maintain confidentiality. Obtain consultation when needed.

142 Negotiating Treatment Contract
Initially patients with history of self-cutting may not be able to agree to abstain entirely from SIB. Explore teen’s concerns about their SIB and negative consequences of the behavior to increase motivation for change. (remain non-judgemental.) Negotiate with teen to try specific emotion regulation strategies first, and to delay cutting for longer periods after the urge begins. Negotiate with teen to avoid triggers for self-injury. Remove razors from bedroom and areas of immediate access… Delaying acting on the urge is teaching distress tolerance… helping teens cut the umbilical chord between emotion and behavior.

143 Understanding Self-injurious Behavior
SIB is identified by the patient as non-suicidal, and is typically aimed at relieving distress. It is marked by: An irresistible impulse to self-harm Mounting agitation – no escape from tension Cognitive constriction- no alternatives considered Rapid, temporary relief following the act of self injury

144 Functions Self-injury may Serve
Escape or reduce painful emotions Distract from painful memories or thoughts Self-expression of emotions Punishment of self Tension reduction/Anger reduction Get attention, social support, or help To feel alive IMPORTANT TO DISCUSS THESE REASONS WITH FAMILIES AND THEN PROVIDE EDUCATION ABOUT BIOSOCIAL THEORY.

145 Characteristics of Self-injurers
The teen may have difficulties: Labeling their emotions Effectively regulating emotions Trusting experiences as valid responses to events (therefore individual searches environment for cues about how to respond) Tolerating distress Effectively solving problems (Miller, 1999) KIM: YOU COULD ASK AUDIENCE FOR EXAMPLES OF HOW PARENTS MIGHT BE INVALIDATING AND HOW TEENS MIGHT FEEL THAT THEIR THOUGHTS, FEELINGS AND BEHAVIORS WERE INVALIDATESD. WE ALL INVALIDATE EACHOTHER AT TIMES BUT IT IS A PERSISITENT PATTERN THAT CAN CAUSE THESE PROBLEMS ESPECIALLY IN INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE VULNERABLE TO EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCES.

146 Emotional Vulnerability
High sensitivity Immediate reactions Low threshold for emotional reaction High reactivity Extreme reactions High arousal dysregulates cognitive processing Slow return to baseline Long lasting reactions Creates high sensitivity to next emotional stimulus Like a “wind burn”…things get under their skin more easily. Extreme reactions… profoundly depressed, hopeless, helpless, panicked. Impaired cognitive processing reactivates the emotion

147 Borderline Personality Disorder
Many self-injurers display some of these traits: Emotion dysregulation (affect lability) Interpersonal dysregulation (chaotic relationships) Self-dysregulation (identity disturbance) Behavioral dysregulation (self-injury) Cognitive dysregulation (paranoia) Many of the teens who self-injure display some of these traits. BPD is a pervasive problem of the emotion regulation system. Affect lability/ intense anger… everything else trickles down from the emotion dysregulation high conflict in family/peer relationships; fears abandonment Confusion about self; stifled feelings—numbing leads to sense of emptiness… disconnect. Behavioral– follows directly from emotional; SIB, parasuicidal, impulsive, substance use, purging, shoplifting, etc….. Again, the behavior serves to regulate the emotion.

148 What We See in the Teen Critical, hostile statements toward self and feelings of guilt, shame, anger when experiencing strong emotions These reactions serve to intensify the pain of the original emotion and further support the self-critical backlash INIDIVIDUAL IS ESSENTIALLY REACTING AGAINST HER EMOTIONA EXPERIENCE IN WAYS THAT REPEAT THE INVALIDATING RESPONSES OF HER FORMATIVE OF FAMILY’S ENVIRONMENT.

149 The Invalidating Environment
Families may: Indiscriminantly reject Punish emotional displays and intermittently reinforce emotional escalation. Over-simplify the ease of problem-solving and meeting goals Indiscriminantly indulge Validation– common connotation as being warm and thoughtful vs. scientific definition—one study validated another, i.e. confirms, supports, is consistent with. The opposite of validation is incongruence. Invalidating environment can simply be a poorness of fit temperamentally. Extreme forms of invalidation would be abuse. Low level invalidation– being told repeatedly that what you feel is inappropriate, inaccurate, and wrong. Borderline personality d/o, and problems with emotion regulation may result from the transaction of biological vulnerability with invalidation over time. Patient ends up saying “I have no idea how I should be feeling right now.” In treatment with these individuals, must start here… must soothe and validate efore you can move onto change. Balancing the acceptance of self in the moment, at the same time recognizing the need for change. “effective compassion” is the therapeutic approach. Must be mindful that parents don’t feel blamed.

150 Creating a Validating Therapeutic Environment
Therapist validates the emotional need behind the behavior. Therapist must non-judgmentally acknowledge destructiveness of teen’s behavior. “You’re doing the best you can, and you can do better.” Therapist refrains from criticizing the individual but instead elicits negative consequences about specific behaviors from teen. We must help the teens to feel understood before they can learn new things. REMEMBER THAT MAIN MESSAGE WE’RE TRYING TO GIVE KIDS IS THAT “YOU ARE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED”. YOU HAVE LEARNED SPECIFIC COPING STRATEGIES THAT SEEM TO WORK TEMPORARILY I.E. PAIN GOES AWAY, YOU FEEL LESS ANGRY ETC..BUT WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS BEHAVIOR FOR YOU? (E.G. CUTTING). DOES THIS GET YOU WHAT YOU REALLY WANT? ULTIMATELY WE ARE TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE TEEN IS NEEDING AND TO GUIDE THEM IN LEARNING NEW WAYS TO GET THEIR NEEDS MET. VALIDATING THEM BY LETTING THEM KNOW THEY ARE DOING THE BEST THEY CAN, BEGINS TO BREAK DOWN RESISTANCE AND MAY BE FIRST TIME THEY EXPERIENCE ADULT AS SEEING THEM SOMEWHAT COMPETENT AND WORTHWHILE.

151 Levels of Validation (Miller & Comtois, 2002)
Unbiased listening and observing. Accurate reflection Articulating the “unverbalized” Validation in terms of past learning or biological dysfunction Validation in terms of present context Radical genuineness THIS IS DIRECTLY FROM MILLER….. Approaching your patient with a fresh mind, without preconceived notions and expectations. Rogerian reflection is validation. Reflecting feelings, thoughts, and behavior patterns that aren’t explicitly stated “I understand why you don’t want to talk to your mom today based on how she has lashed out at you in the past. It makes sense.” it makes good sense that you’re not walking down that alley at night given the crime in the area. Radical genuineness must be congruous… cannot act as if everything is fine when patient is in real distress. Same tone, posture you would use with your spouse or colleague…no role bound behavior.

152 Break Time for a 15 minute break!

153 Developing the Treatment Approach
Protocol driven treatments (one size fits all, what to do instructions) work with severe and chronic Axis I problems Principle-driven treatments (based on principles that tell you how to figure out what to do) are needed with multi-diagnostic and/or Axis II patients Miller, 2002 From Alec Miller

154 Chain analysis as a Guide to Case Conceptualization
A form of behavioral analysis Translation of the behavior problem (SIB) into “links” in the “chain” of emotions, events, behavior and consequences Assessing at a micro-level to reconstruct the sequence in time Because the problem is emotional, you need to look at short pieces of time. It’s time focused because the urge/behavior happens so quickly. You have to teach them to think in minutia of detail so they can think that way about their private internal experience.

155 Chain Analysis as a Guide
Start by asking teen to walk you through the events that led up to the self-injury. Help teen identify vulnerability factors that may have contributed. Ask teen to describe in detail the precipitants, thoughts, images, and feelings they may have experienced as well as what was going on “outside”. Ask about (+) and (-) consequences of the SIB. And the details of the SIB itself Vulnerability factors...e.g.. tired, hungry, PMS, craving cigarette, rejecting peer group, etc. What others were doing and saying Consequences…both positive and negative. Positive consequences will help you to identify which emotional needs are being met by the SIB, and provides an opportunity to validate those needs. Negative consequences can be used to increase motivation for change.

156 Links in the Chain Vulnerability factors Triggering event Emotions
Thoughts (“self-talk”) Physical sensations Urges Behavior Consequences Help them reconstruct … (poor autobiographical memory is associated with increased self-injury per Alec Miller). As teen tells the story, you are listening for these links, and recording them… will share with the teen to help him/her conceptualize as well as to help you. Vulnerability factor metaphor from Alec Miller: a parking lot where several cars have had the fuel pans stabbed and there is fuel all over the parking lot… the prompting event is a dropped cigarette. Normally neither the spilled fuel alone or the cigarette alone would cause problems. Triggering event… family argument, targeted by peers, mother read diary, break-up, failing grade…. Could be any disappointment, humiliation, frustration, fear etc. Help teen to identify and label what they were feeling (affect education) teach them about emotions they may not be readily aware of (e.g. shame) and the notion that we seldom experience only one emotion at a time. How were they interpreting the events, what did they conclude about themselves or the future, etc. Get details about the SIB

157 Forming Conceptualization
The specific vulnerabilities, self-statements, and feelings (“internal factors”), as well as the triggering events and consequences of the SIB (“external factors”), will help you to develop the case conceptualization and treatment plan.

158

159

160 Prioritize treatment needs
Through chain analyses, the therapist decides which skill areas to target first: Emotion regulation skills Cognitive restructuring Family Conflict Communication skills Problem-solving Social skills/assertiveness skills These skills could be focused on the individual first and then involve familiy.. Family communication, family emotion reg, family problem-solving if family conflict is a precipitant to the SIB. After lunch, we will begin discussing these interventions, with particular focus on the emotion regulation skills.

161 LUNCH BREAK !

162 Emotion Education Learning to be nonjudgmental toward self
Teach teen how to observe and describe different emotions, without labeling them as good or bad, but simply to be aware of them. Emotion dysregulation results often because teen is overly harsh toward self for having strong feelings, and may often judge specific feelings as wrong, or invalid, and feel more distressing emotions in turn. E.G. when we judge our emotion as wrong or bad then we end up feeling guilty for feeling angry, or angry for feeling ashamed. So the goal of becoming nonjudgmental toward emotions is to decrease tendency for emotional dysregulation To accomplish this task teen must become good at labeling and identifying different kinds of feelings, physical sensations associated with the emotion, interpretations of the event, the action urges and actual behaviors motivated by the emotion, and the consequences of these behaviors in the teen’s environment. Chronically depressed teens often will present with emotional blunting that require education about variations in mood that they have gradually stopped attending to.

163 Emotion Education (continued)
Action urges and choices A negative emotion often leads to an irresistible urge to act in a self-destructive manner. Important to teach teen that just because they have urge to act on a distressing emotion they are not “obligated” to act in this way. Distinguish between “urge” to act and the “action” itself. Cutting the umbilical chord between thoughts and behavior

164 Reducing Vulnerability to Negative Emotion
Parents and teens should be taught how to decrease vulnerability to “emotion mind” (Linehan, 1993). Emphasis on importance of maintaining regular sleep schedule. Eating balanced diet, treating physical illness, getting regular exercise, avoiding substance abuse and planning at least one activity a day that elicits a sense of competence and mastery. “Emotion mind” is typically what gets them into problem behaviors. “Reasonable mind” is logical, rational, reasonable “just the facts.” Wise mind is the intersection of the two… observing (just noticing), describing, in the moment, non-judgmental (neither good nor bad)

165 HEAR ME Health (treat physical illness) Exercise regularly
Avoid mood altering drugs Rest (balanced sleep) Mastery (one rewarding activity daily) Eating (balanced diet) An acronym to help teens remember how to care for themselves… often the concepts of learning to take care of themselves, soothe themselves, and meet some of their own emotional needs are entirely new.

166 Emotions Thermometer

167 Mindfulness of current emotion
Steps in the process: 1. Observe your emotion 2. Experience Your emotion 3. You are not your emotion 4. Practice Accepting your emotion Will go over each separately on next slides

168 Mindfulness 1. Observe your emotion Note its presence… just observe it
Step Back Get Unstuck from the emotion

169 Mindfulness 2. Experience Your Emotion As a wave, coming and going…
Try not to block or suppress the emotion Don’t try to get rid of the emotion Don’t push it away Don’t try to keep the emotion around Don’t hold on to it Don’t intensify it

170 Mindfulness 3. Remember: You are not your emotion
Do not necessarily act on your emotion (that is, let destructive action urges pass). Remember times when you have felt different.

171 Mindfulness 4. Practice accepting your emotion
Do not judge your emotion as wrong, bad, too painful, unfair, embarrassing, etc. Do not criticize yourself for feeling the emotion. Accept your emotion as it is in the moment. Practice “willingness” Radically accept your emotion

172 Takes the chain analysis a step further
Chain Analysis as an Intervention: The Freeze Frame Technique (Wexler, 1991) Takes the chain analysis a step further Recalls events as if reviewing a video replay and then “freezing the frame” at critical points. Helps teen to slow time down (especially useful for teens who are impulsive and “can’t remember what happened”) .

173 Steps of Freeze Frame To review:
Teen is asked to describe in detail a situation in which he/she had a particularly strong emotional reaction and/or had adverse consequences. These consequences should be both internal and external e.g. teen punched his door –consequence might be he/she has to pay for a new door and also feels guilty and ashamed of this behavior. To review…

174 Freeze Frame (continued)
In addition to “who, what, where, when” of the problem situation, sensory, interpersonal, affective, cognitive details are also recalled; negative self-talk is especially important to articulate. The teen should describe the “vulnerability factors” that made he/she more susceptible to negative emotions and problem behavior. EXAMPLES OF VULNERABILITY FACTORS: LACK OF SLEEP, HUNGER, DRUG OR ALCOHOL USE)

175 Freeze Frame (continued)
The teen is instructed to “slow time down” as the scene approaches the moment when the problem emotion intensified or the “uncontrollable behavior” started (analogy of the instant replay can be used). At the moment just prior to the problem emotion or “uncontrollable behavior” is reached, the teen is instructed to FREEZE THE FRAME and describe thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and action urges at that moment.

176 Freeze Frame (continued)
The next step is to ask the teen “what NEEDS were you attempting to meet through the behavior, even if the results were negative?” Once these needs have been identified , the therapist must help teen to develop self-respect for these needs (teach teen to validate these needs) and formulate alternative ways to take care of these needs. The key question is “what did you REALLY need at that moment?” Helping teens to identify this need and explore other ways of getting the need met is the crux of the treatment.

177 Freeze Frame (continued)
“Needs”-Important to teach teen that if they can identify their needs and learn different behaviors to get their needs met, they can have more power. “Once you know the needs, you are smarter. Once you have new tools for handling the needs, you are more powerful” (Wexler, 1993). Remind teens, we are trying to help them get more control, not take it away from them.

178 Freeze Frame (continued)
The Freeze Frame differs from the chain analysis, and becomes an intervention with the final step: The teen replays the scene and replaces the problem behavior with the new coping skills, and then imagines a new outcome. FREEZE FRAME IS CONDUCTED IN A NONJUDGMENTAL WAY. BY WALKING THROUGH THIS PROCESS STEP BY STEP THE THERAPIST CAN LEARN WHAT THE TEEN WAS THINKING, FEELING AND HOW THEIR BEHAVIOR INTENSIFIED PROBLEM. BY ASKING WHAT HAPPENED NEXT, AND THEN WHAT ETC THE THERAPIST CAN ALSO LEARN WHAT THE TEEN WAS HOPING WOULD HAPPEN E.G. WHAT WENT THROUGH YOUR MIND AFTER YOU CUT? HOW WERE YOU FEELING? WHAT DID YOU WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN?

179 Educating Family about Freeze Frame
The Freeze Frame approach is the basis for generating options and interventions with regard to emotion dysregulation. We can use this approach to examine emotion dysregulation that occurs interpersonally between family members. KIM, THIS MIGHT BE A GOOD THING TO GIVE A CASE EXAMPLE OF…THINK OF BARTH AND CONFLICT THEY HAVE..YOU COULD WALK AUDIENCE THROUGH AND EXAMPLE OF DOING A FREEZE FRAME WITH THE FAMILY AROUND RECENT CONFLICT THEY HAD…IDENTIFY WHERE THINGS BEGIN TO BREAK DOWN, I.E. POSSIBLE TRIGGERS, THOUGHTS, FEELINGS BEHAVIORS FAMILY ENGAGES IN WHEN IN CONFLICT..E.G. SO, MOM WHEN YOU DON’T REACT MICHELLE WHAT DO YOU DO? (MICHELE MORE THAN LIKELY UPS THE ANTE) SO WHEN MICHELE ESCALATES MOM/DAD WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND? WHAT DO YOU SAY? PARENTS MIGHT SAY, “DON’T MAKE SUCH A BIG DEAL OVER THIS”, MICHELE FEELS UNHEARD (INVALIDATED), GOES TO HER ROOM, LISTENS TO DEPRESSING MUSIC (VULNERABILITY FACTOR) FEELS ISOLATED AND ALONE AND BEGINS TO CUT. WHAT WE SEE OVER AND OVER IN THESE FAMILIES ARE BOTH PARENTS AND TEENS UNABLE TO REGULATE POWERFUL EMOTIONS. EITHER TEEN OR PARENT BECOMES DYSREGULATED AND ENGAGES IN SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR SO OUR GOAL IS TO HELP BOTH TEEN AND FAMILY LEARN SKILLS TO IMPROVE THEIR ABILITY TO REGULATE EMOTIONS.

180 Break Time for a 15 minute break!

181 Distress Tolerance Skills
A crisis survival strategy Vital skill to teach teen as they will not always be able to decrease painful emotions, or get what they need interpersonally, so they will need to learn how to “tolerate” distressing emotions. Not designed to help you feel better… it MAY function to reduce negative emotion, but that’s not why you use the skill. You use it to avoid making a bad situation worse (by self-cutting). Skills for accepting long term things you can’t change. DISTRESS TOLERANCE SKILLS: WHEN NEITHER THE SITUATION NOR ONES EXPERIENCE OF IT CAN BE SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGED, AT LEAST NOT AT THE MOMENT. IF A TEEN IS UPSET AT SCHOOL HE/SHE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ADEQUATELY EXPRESS AND PROCESS FEELINGS-MAY HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL LATER..SO HOW DO THEY TOLERATE THESE FEELINGS WITHOUT MAKING THINGS WORSE?

182 Distress Tolerance Skills
Linehan (1993) “Learning how to bear pain skillfully” Teaching teens to suspend judgment – an emotion simply “is” Teaching teens to “accept” painful feelings vs. trying to get rid of them quickly

183 Distress Tolerance Skills
3 Myths about acceptance (Miller, 1997) If you refuse to accept something, it will magically change. If you accept your painful situation, you will become soft and just give up (or give in). If you accept your painful situation, you are accepting a life of pain.

184 Distress Tolerance Skills
CBT component of Distress Tolerance Acceptance self-talk Learning to talk to yourself nonjudgmentally e.g. “I’m doing the best I can”, “I know if I can just get through this difficult time things will get better”. Acceptance self-talk counters the negative, critical “shoulds” that often accompany painful emotions.

185 Distress Tolerance Skills
Main emphasis is teaching teens how to soothe themselves . Teens may be resistant to this, as their relation to the world is predominantly action and other oriented. Self-soothing skills involve neither action in the external behavior sense nor an explicit relation with others.

186 Distress Tolerance Skills
Some teens have belief that others should soothe them when distressed and have difficulty believing that they can depend on themselves. Others may feel that they don’t deserve to be soothed and may feel guilty, ashamed, angry when they try to self-soothe (Linehan, 1993) .

187 Distress Tolerance Skills
Some teens have belief that others should soothe them when distressed and have difficulty believing that they can depend on themselves. Others may feel that they don’t deserve to be soothed and may feel guilty, ashamed, angry when they try to self-soothe (Linehan, 1993) .

188 Self-Soothing Through the Five Senses
An accessible and easily taught self-soothing/distress tolerance skill is the use of the 5 senses: Vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch Usually at least 2-3 of the five senses are engaged or capable of being engaged at any given moment as a distraction from distress. EXAMPLE OF TEACHING KID THE 5 SENSES LET’S TAKE THE SITUATION IN WHICH A DISTRESSED TEEN MUST WAIT 50 MINUTES UNTIL THE END OF CLASS BEFORE SHE WILL BE ABLE TO TAK TO A FRIEND WITH WHOM SHE IS ANGRY. THAT IS, SHE CANNOT YET RESOLVE THE CONFLICT WITH HER FRIEND NOR CAN SHE RESOLVE HER ANGER. SO, SHE MUST FIND A WAY TO TOLERATE HER DISTRESS. ASSUMING SHE WAS UNABLE TO CONCENTRATE ON THE TEACHER’S LESSON, WHAT SENSES COULD SHE ENGAGE TO SELF-SOOTHE? VISION IS THE MOST OBVIOUS..SHE COULD FOCUS ON A POSTER ON THE CLASSROOM WALL, ON A CEILING TILE, OR ON A COLORFUL PIECE OF CLOTHING WORN BY ANOTHER STUDENT. USING HER HEARING SHE COULD FOCUS ON THE HUM OF THE AIR CONDITIONING OR THE BUZZ OF THE FLORESCENT LIGHTS. USING TASTE, SHE COULD SUCK ON A PIECE OF HARD CANDY, BEING MINDFUL OF HOW THE FLAVOR CHANGES DEPENDING ON WHAT PART OF THE TONGUE THE CANDY TOUCHES, FOCUSING ON THE DIFFERENT SENSATIONS CREATED BY THE CHANGING SIZE OF THE CANDY. USING SMELL, THE DISTRESSED STUDENT MIGHT FOCUS ON THE ODOR OF A PLEASNAT PERFUME THAT EITHER SHE OR A PEER IS WEARING. FINALLY, EMPLOYING TOUCH, THE STUDENT MIGH FOCS ON THE SOFTNESS AND TEXTURE OF A PIECE OF CLOTHING SHE IS WEARING, OR ON THE VARYING TACTILE QULITIES OF HER BOOK BAG.

189 Sensory Soothing (continued)
Vision: Focus on an aspect of nature, or any visual detail Hearing: Music, nature sounds, relaxation tape, fan noise Smell Lotion, candle, perfume, favorite food cooking Taste Hot chocolate or tea, ice cream…taste slowly Touch Pet your dog, cat, soothing bath, hug, blanket Can focus on any visual detail, even if the detail is emotionally neutral or bland… spot on the wall Next, moving on to helping parents regulate their emotions…

190 Helping Parents Regulate Their Emotions When in Conflict with Teen
Teach trategies for changing the timing and process of confrontations. Important to educate parents that when teen attacks and parent becomes dysregulated then parent can no longer be effective in enforcing rules and consequences. Teens will escalate their behavior in an attempt to control outcome of mood and outcome of the interaction (Sells, 1998). SELLS IDENTIFIES SOME OF THE COMMON BUTTON-PUSHING STATEMENTS TEENS MIGHT MAKE: “I HATE YOU YOU’RE SUCH A ____, IF YOU DON’T LET ME GO I’LL KILL MYSELF..THESE KINDS OF STATEMENTS CAN CAUSE PARENTS TO REACT IRRATIONALLY AND BECOME OVERLY EMOTIONAL CREATING A SITUATION THAT IN UNPRODUCTIVE FOR BOTH TEEN AND PARENT. TEEN NOW HAS CONTROL OF CONFLICT BECAUSE PARENT IS REACTING TO HIS BEHAVIOR AND BEGINS TO ESCALATE WITH TEEN.

191 Creating a Validating Family Environment
Help both parents and teen to understand how their reactions to each other may be invalidating. “Kernel of Truth” Coaching parents to become more aware of the ways in which their communication may be overly negative and critical. Validation isn’t “agreeing with” and doesn’t have to be “warm and fuzzy.” PARENTS MAY NOT REALIZE THEY ARE BEING INVALIDIATING WHEN THEY SAY THINGS LIKE: YOU’RE OVERREACTING, YOU’RE TOO EMOTIONAL, YOU’RE TOO SENSITIVE..THESE TYPES OF REMARKS NOT ONLY QUESTION THE INTENSITY OF THE CHILD’S EMOTIONAL DISPLAY, BUT ALSO TEND TO INVALIDATE THE EMOTIONS INTSELF-AS IF TO SAY “YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE ANY FEELINGS ABOUT THIS” IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMIND PARENTS THAT THERE IS A KERNAL OF TRUTH IN EVEN THE MOST INTENSE EMOTIONAL REACTION. THERE IS ALMOST ALWAYS A CORE FEELING THAT REFLECTS A VALID REACTION TO THE SITUATION AT HAND. THE INVALIDATION OF SUCH CORE FEELINGS CAN RESULT IN CHILDREN CONDLUDING THT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY THE PARENTS MAY CONTRIBUTE TO EMOTION DYSREGULATION BY MAKING COMMENTS THAT INVALIDATE TEENS FEELINGS BY MAKING STATEMENTS SUCH AS: “YOU SHOULD BE AN ACTRESS”, “THERE YOU GO AGAIN”. PARENTS NEED TO BE AWARE OF “NON-VERBAL” BODY LANGUAGE THAT CAN BE INVALIDATING. I.E. MAKING FACES, AVOIDING EYE CONTACT, DOING SOMETHING ELSE GIVES IMPRESSION THAT TEEN’S CONCERNS ARE UNIMPORTANT. Alec Miller: Validation… the act of making valid, strengthening, reinforcing, confirming. Valid= relevant and meaningful (to the circumstance) Well grounded or justifiable (logically correct) Appropriate to the end in view (effective for achieving the individual’s ultimate goals)

192 Strategies to Help Parents Respond Calmly
Strategies to help parents respond calmly and nonreactively to their teens’ provocations during conflict: EXIT AND WAIT STAYING SHORT AND TO THE POINT, USING DEFLECTORS EXIT AND WAIT: INSTRUCT PARENTS THAT WHENEVER THEY FEEL THEIR EMOTIONS GETTING DYSREGULATED IN REPONSE OT BUTTON-PUSHING BEHVIOR FROM THEIR TEEN, THEY ARE TO EXIT THE SITUATION AND WAIT UNTIL BOTH THEY AND THEIR TEEN ARE CALM ENOUGH TOI RESUME THE DISCUSSION. PARENTS SHOULD INFORM THEIR TEEN IN ADVANCE OF THIS STRATEGY AND CLEARLY DEFINE WHAT TYPES OF BEHAVIORS WILL BE GOURNDS FOR THIS INTEVENTION. TEENS CAN BE TOLD THAT THIS TECHNIQUE WILL HELP KEEP THEIR PARENTS FROM SLIPPING INTO LECTURING OR HARSH CRITICISMS. FINALLLY, PARENTS SHOULD BE COACHED ON MAKING A BRIEF SATEMENT OT THE TEEN JUST BEFORE THEY EXIT A CONFRONTATION. THIS STATEMENT SHOULD NAME THE UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR AND INFORM THE TEEN THAT THE PARENT IS LEAVING THE SITUATION UNTIL EVERONE IS CALM ENOUGH TO HAVE A PRODUCTIVE DISCUSSION. STAYING SHORT AND TO THE POINT, USING DEFLECTORS: SUGGEST TO PARENTS TO BREIFLY STATE A SPECIFIC RULE OR CONSEQUENCE AND THEN TO EXIT THE SITUATION INSTEAD OF LAPSING INTO LECTURES OR CRITICISMS. Sell (1998) makes the interesting point that “..the longer an argument goes on, the more the parents regress toward behaving just as their teen. For every two minutes they stay in an argument, parents should deduct 5 years from their chronological age”. Parents should be humorously informed of this formula, and most will recognize how often it has applied in their conflicts with their teens. TO IMPLEMENT THIS HELPFUL TO HAVE WRITTEN CONTRACT WHERE RULES AND CONSEQUENCES ARE CLEARLY DEFINED. SO INSTEAD OF MAKING UP RULES DURING A FIGHT PARENTS CAN REFERENCE THE CONTRACT WHEN THE TEEN HAS VIOLATED IT. DEFLECTOR WORD OR PHRASES CAN HELP PARENTS STAY SHORT AND TO THE POINT RATHER THAN BEING PULLED INTO AN EXTENDED CONFLICT. Examples of such deflector are “nevertheless”, regardless”, “that is the rule” and “no exceptions”. THESE DEFLECTORS HELP KEEP THE PARENT FOCUSED ON THE ISSUE AT HAND RATHER THAN BEING DERAILED BY THE TEEN’S BUTTON PUSHING TACTICS. DEFLECTORS SHOULD BE USED IN THE CONTEXT OF 1-2 SENTENCE RESPONSES. IF THESE DO NOT WORK AND THE TEEN PERSISTS IN PROTES, THEN THE EXIT AND WAIT STRATEGY SHOULD BE EMPLOYED.

193 Communication Skills Active Listening (verbal and non verbal skills)
Therapist models listening skills Sending clear messages ( use of “I” statements instead of “you” Practice/role play in session

194 Changing Emotion by Acting Opposite the Current Emotion
Every emotion has an action associated with it. Fear …………Run Anger………….. Attack Sadness………..Withdraw Shame………….Hide We can CHANGE the emotion by changing the ACTION. Emotions love themselves and will keep themselves going… spiraling.

195 Changing Emotion by Acting Opposite the Current Emotion
Opposite Action Emotion is strongly influenced by our bodily posture and facial expressions. By altering posture, behavior and facial expressions we can delay, interrupt or de-escalate the progression of a problematic emotion. RESEARCH ON EMOTION HAS FOUND THAT THERE SEEMS TO BE A “HARDWIRING” BETWEEN FACIAL EXPRESSIONS AND THEIR CORRESPONDING EMOTIONS The question is not, is the emotion justified, but rather do you or don’t you want it there? IN-VIVO Exercise: TO DEMONSTRATE HOW EMOTIONS ARE INFLUENCED BY FACIAL EXPRESSION AND BODILY POSTURE, HAVE THE PARENTS AND THEIR TEEN INTENTIONALLYL MAKE AN ANGRY FACE AND THEN NOTICE THAT THEY BEGIN TO FEEL ANGRY. THEN HAVE THEM CHANGE THEIR POSTURE OT INCLUDE ADDITIONAL ANGRY ELEMENTS, SUCH AS MAKING CLENCHED FISTS, STOMPING A FOOT, AND LOUDLY SAYING SOMETHING. Invariably these behaviors intensify the angry feeling that had originally been evoked by the change in facial expression. If they are able to get over their self-consciousness, this can be a mildly entertaining exercise for the family.

196 Opposite Action for Anger
Keep one’s palms open when inclined to punch. Whisper when inclined to scream. Breath deeply and slowly rather than angrily hyperventilating. Gently avoid the person you are angry with rather than attacking. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and imagine sympathy or empathy for the person, rather than blame. ASK FAMILY TO DESCRIBE HOW THEY TYPICALLY EXPERIENCE AND ENACT ANGER; BASED ON THESE DESCRIPTIONS, HAVE THEM GENERATE THEIR OWN LIST OF OPPOSITE ACTIONS FOR ANGER SHOW OPPOSITE ACTION TAPE YOU MIGHT NOTE THAT THE PRINCIPLE OF OPPOSITE ACTION IS BEHIND THE SUGGESTINS THEY HAVE RECEIVED TO HELP THEIR DPERSSED TEEN STAY ACTIVE, BE AROUND OTHER PEOPLE, AND BE INVOLVED IN PLEASURABLE ACTIVITES. THIS WORKS BECAUSE THE “ACTION URGE” OF DEPRESSION IS TO WITHDRAE, TO ISOLATE ONESLEF, AND TO REDUCE ACTIVITY. REVIEW ANGER THERMOMETER HERE CASE PRESENTATION Be decent, civil, and if possible a little bit kind. This will help you get what you want!

197 Opposite Action for Guilt or Shame
Repair the mistake. Say you’re sorry Make up for what you did to the person you offended Try to avoid making the same mistake in the future. Accept the consequences for what you did. Then let it go. Use opposite action when the feeling of guilt or shame is justified…avoidance is the common instinct

198 Opposite action for Sadness or Depression
Get active Approach, don’t avoid Do things that make you feel effective and self-confident Use the “half-smile”

199 Opposite Action for Envy
Someone else has something that you think you WANT or NEED. (If you can’t have it, they SHOULDN’T.) Based on a fundamental belief that you are DEPRIVED. Radical Acceptance: you have to radically accept that you don’t have it (opposite action).

200 Radical Self-Acceptance
We must willingly accept all aspects of self. Remember that acceptance does not necessarily mean approval or agreement, but is simply the acknowledgement of what is. Accepting that you are human, that you have both failings and accomplishments in your life experiences, and that you are inherently both flawed and gifted is radical self-acceptance. Practice accepting insights, both what you like and don’t like with an open-heart. Accept yourself wholeheartedly, without fear that doing so will make you worse.

201 Steps to practice using opposite action
What emotion am I experiencing? What is the action (what is the emotion trying to get me to do)? Do I really want to reduce this emotion? What is the opposite action? DO the opposite action. Practice, practice, practice! Next slide, a quick review of relaxation skills that can be helpful with dysregulated teens.

202 Relaxation Skills Deep Breathing with a Self-Statement, Counting Backward Deep Breathing with Pleasant Imagery Leaving the scene for a break Guided Imagery for Relaxation (Spaceship to the Moon and back; Falling Leaf…) Progressive Muscle Relaxation

203 Summary Important to assess most severe episode suicidal thoughts or behavior and evaluate the precipitants and motivations. Important to gather history of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in all patients. Gather current information and history of self-injurious behaviors or urges.

204 Summary (continued) Establish no harm/no suicide safety plan with teen and family. If conflict has been a precipitant, work with family to call a “truce”. Evaluate possible reinforcers for the teen to continue self-injurious behaviors (what does he/she get or gain). Remain non-judgmental.

205 Summary (continued) The essential “Commitment Phase” of treatment
Decreasing vulnerability factors Teaching Use of “Freeze Frame” Emotion Regulation skills to teen and parents. Enhance Family Communication skills

206 Summary (continued) Self-soothing skills
Helping parents regulate their emotions when in conflict. Strategies to help. Changing Emotion by “opposite action” technique Distress Tolerance Skills

207 Questions and Discussion
Don’t forget to show Gratitude slide

208 We acknowledge with gratitude the Pennsylvania Legislature for its support of the STAR-Center and our outreach efforts. This presentation may not be reproduced without written permission from: STAR-Center Outreach, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 3811 O’Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA (412) All Rights Reserved, 2006


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