Psychoanalytic Dimensions of Suicide: psychoanalytic approaches to working with suicide — prevention, intervention, understanding and responding to loss

Weekend Conference Nov 13-15, 2020 Psychodynamic Understanding of Suicide — Prevention, Intervention, After a patient dies by suicide: understanding and responding to loss

Program Date(s):

November 13, 2020 - November 15, 2020

Program Chair

Anabella de Brostella and Ana María Barroso

Weekend Overview


The rate of suicide in the USA has increased 33% since 1999. Understanding the epidemiology of suicide, risk and protective factors, treatment approaches to the suicidal patient, and how survivors of suicide loss may be affected are all essential for clinicians. Psychoanalytic understanding of the suicidal process in the developmental, interpersonal, affective, defensive, and object relations spheres may help clinicians to work more effectively with suicidal patients leading to deeper engagement and more thorough assessment of the dynamics underlying suicide. The lectures will include attention to states of mind preceding near lethal suicide attempts, the role of psychic pain in suicide, suicide in vulnerable populations, the intergenerational transmission of suicide, and the effect of patient suicide on clinicians.


This weekend conference is being offered as live, online videoconferences in response to concerns regarding the COVID-19 virus.

The live on-line conference will include lectures, case presentations, and large and small group discussions.  Participants will be able to fully engage in discussion using the Zoom videoconference platform, available for free download.

The daily schedule will include breaks for stretching and for lunch.


IPI staff will be available to help you install and test your Zoom connection prior to the conference, and in case of difficulties during the conference.

Jane G. Tillman, PhD, ABPP

Jane G. Tillman, PhD, ABPP is the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Director of the Erikson Institute for Education and Research. A board certified clinical psychologist and a psychoanalyst, Dr. Tillman is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center and a Teaching Associate in Psychiatry at the Cambridge Health Alliance of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tillman serves on the Editorial Board of Psychoanalytic Psychology, and is a past member of the editorial board of The Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. She is the past-president of the Section on Women, Gender, and Psychoanalysis of Division 39, served two-terms as the chair of the Ethics Committee for Division 39.  Dr. Tillman’s research and writing is primarily focused on understanding states of mind related to suicide, changes over time in suicidal patients, the intergenerational transmission of suicide, and postvention with psychotherapists and organizations following the suicide of a patient.

Presentations include

*Attendance at the Small Group Discussion is Mandatory to receive the full CE/CME certificate

13 Nov
States of Mind Preceding a Near Lethal Suicide Attempt
with Small Group Discussion
Jane Tillman, Ph.D, ABPP
13 Nov
The Aftermath of Suicide
with Small Group Discussion
Presenter: Lea de Setton, Ph.D. disscusant: Jane Tillman, Ph.D, ABPP
14 Nov
Suicide: The pandemic and vulnerable populations
with Small Group Discussion
Jane Tillman, Ph.D, ABPP
14 Nov
The Intergenerational Transmission of Suicide
with Small Group Discussion
Jane Tillman, Ph.D, ABPP
15 Nov
After a patient dies by suicide: Responding to Loss
with Small Group Discussion
Jane Tillman, Ph.D, ABPP

Educational Objectives

States of Mind Preceding a Near Lethal Suicide Attempt

  1. List at least 4 themes associated with near lethal suicide attempts
  2. Discuss a range of affective states associated with suicidal thinking
  3. Describe historical and contemporary psychoanalytic view of suicide
  4. Discuss the differences between the historical and contemporary psychoanalytic view of suicide using the context of the small affective group discussion,
  5. List and discuss the complexities of the states of mind preceding a lethal attempt and the challenges this poses to clinicians

The Aftermath of Suicide

  1. Discuss the fundamental theoretical concepts that explain the dynamics of suicide.
  2. Describe the difficult mourning processes for the family impacted by a family member who has died by suicide, including the complex emotions of anger and guilt experienced during their working through process.
  3. Describe 3 countertransference responses commonly experienced when working with individuals and families grieving the loss of a family member who has suicided.
  4. List and discuss 3 psychodynamic concepts that account for suicide using the context of the small group,.
  5. Describe a range of difficult affective experiences commonly manifested by persons mourning the loss of a person to suicide, such as anger and guilt.

Suicide: The pandemic and vulnerable populations

  1. Explain the distinction between modifiable risk factors from fixed risk factors for suicide.
  2. List youth populations who are at an elevated risk for suicide according to the known epidemiology of suicide in the United States.
  3. List 4 potential protective factors for suicide.
  4. Discuss the coexistence between risk factors and sociocultural contributors to the suicide crisis in United States using the context of the small group.
  5. Apply two differences discussed in the large group presentation to identify the protective factors for suicide.

The Intergenerational Transmission of Suicide

  1. List 3 responses that are specific to suicide loss survivors.
  2. Discuss the psychodynamic aspects of some survivors of familial suicide.
  3. Describe 3 ways that suicide loss survivor dynamics may enter the field of transference and countertransference in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.
  4. Discuss the characteristics of the research program presented within the context of small affective learning group.
  5. Demonstrate the intergenerational transmission of suicide using participants’ own clinical experience.

After a patient dies by suicide: Responding to Loss

  1. List 4 common reactions of therapists to the suicide of a patient.
  2. Summarize 3 experiences specific to suicide survivors.
  3. Apply 3 examples of helpful responses to colleagues losing a patient to suicide.
  4. Describe the impact on psychotherapists survivors by employing the group affective learning process. 
  5. Discus the importance of having a group of colleagues to think about the experience and its consequences for the clinician.   



Full Conference:

$497 up to 21 days in advance; $517 thereafter

Full members: $359

Associate members: $410

Full time students: $150

Saturday One Day (morning and afternoon): $150

Saturday Morning only: $25

Continuing Education Credit Hours

Weekend Conference:

14.5 CE/CME credits

Saturday One Day:

6 CE/CME credits

Saturday Morning only:

2.5 CE/CME credits

Continuing Education Information

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychotherapy Institute. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 14.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of this CME program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

The International Psychotherapy Institute, IPI, is approved by The American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. IPI maintains responsibility for the program and its content. The International Psychotherapy Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6017. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The International Psychotherapy Institute is responsible for all aspects of the programs. The International Psychotherapy Institute is an approved sponsor of the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners for continuing education credits for licensed social workers in Maryland. The International Psychotherapy Institute is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers.

Participants are responsible for verifying that IPI CE credit is accepted by the licensing boards in their own states. Please note: At this time we are aware that CE credit for IPI events will not be accepted by the New Jersey Board of Social Work.


Membership Benefits

Become a member of IPI at the “Associate Member PLUS”, or “Full Member PLUS” level and you will receive an IPI Zoom Pro account as one of your member benefits. Associate and Full Members also receive discounted registration fees for most of IPI’s events, a subscription to PEP Web, the online psychoanalytic library, and other benefits depending on membership level.

HIPAA compliant Zoom video accounts are provided for all IPI Associate Member Plus and Full Member Plus memberships. IPI has a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement with Zoom, which provides a HIPAA compliant platform for our accounts. HIPPA compliance is strongly recommended for all internet-mediated clinical work and clinical teaching. The “PLUS” add-on to the IPI membership gives the user the ability to host online meetings with multiple people at the same time. [Current members can upgrade to the “Plus” account and only pay the difference in price from your current membership level.]

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