By Justine Dickhoff.
The first workshop I visited was given by Anja Gysin-Maillart about the Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP). The ASSIP is an initial video-recorded narrative interview, during which the patient is asked to tell everything that is coming up, without being interfered by the clinician. We got practical experience by trying out the approach with a person sitting next to us. Our task was to ask the person why he/she chose a career in the field of suicide. My neighbor had a fascinating story, which was interesting to listen to. I can imagine that it is really useful for some patients, because they can just say everything they want to tell. The interviews will be taped and viewed together with the clinician afterwards. Difficulties will be discussed and a safety plan will be composed.
The second workshop I attended was about a really controversial topic for most suicide researchers – assisted suicide. The German psychiatrist, Reinhard Lindner started this workshop with a intense and emotional case presentation of Ms. W., an ill, elderly woman who asked him for assisted suicide. I personally would find these cases most difficult. If somebody is ill, alone and sees the life as lived, it is really hard for a much younger person to really understand him or her. Ms. W. cases was analyzed and discussed in the three following talks. It came clear, that in older patients or patients with an terminal illness, suicide can be ambivalent. The role for a psychiatrist is the one of a listener. This is most precious for a patient, and it helps (at least for Ms. W.) (Stephen Briggs). Helping the person actively (by ending their life) would give someone the power to decide about life and death, and nobody should have this power (Nestor Kapusta).
Workshop number three was really different from the others. I attended the network analysis by Derek de Beurs. It was interesting and easy to hear him explaining it, but a bit more challenging to implement. This technique will give you an overview of interactions between correlated and interacting variables. I think it is a cool and fancy new method to find out more about your data. I will surely have another look into it.
Justine Dickhoff (@justinedickhoff) is a PhD Student looking at emotional processing in suicidal behavior and related brain activation at the Department of Neuroscience of the University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands. (email@example.com).