by Konrad Michel, Anja Gysin-Maillart
An innovative and highly effective brief therapy for suicidal patients – a complete treatment manual
Attempted suicide is the main risk factor for suicide. The Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP) described in this manual is an innovative brief therapy that has proven in published clinical trials to be highly effective in reducing the risk of further attempts. ASSIP is the result of the authors’ extensive practical experience in the treatment of suicidal individuals. The emphasis is on the therapeutic alliance with the suicidal patient, based on an initial patient-oriented narrative interview. The four therapy sessions are followed by continuing contact with patients by means of regular letters.
This clearly structured manual starts with an overview of suicide and suicide prevention, followed by a practical, step-by-step description of this highly structured treatment. It includes numerous checklists, handouts, and standardized letters for use by health professionals in various clinical settings.
From the reviews:
"A prior nonfatal [Suicide] attempt is one of the most reliable predictors for a future attempt. The Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP) provides a time-limited option that targets not only the factors contributing to the suicidal crisis, but also the need for interpersonal connection after the crisis occurs.
"A primary strength of this intervention is that it is grounded in evidence-based theory and practice. The ongoing contact over the course of two years... although a small effort, can cause large reductions in future attempts.
"Overall, this manual is an important step in providing brief interventions for attempt survivors immediately following a suicidal crisis, and it provides tangible efforts to clinicians who may not feel equipped to help them."
Laura M. Frey, Ph.D., LMFT, at the AAS website
Praise for the book:
“The field of clinical suicide prevention is exploding in terms of focus and research. Within this context, the “Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program” (ASSIP) is perhaps the most significant innovation we have seen in the assessment and treatment of suicidal risk in the past decade. Developed by a superb team of clinician–researchers, this patient-centered approach is built on sound theory, clinical practice, and science. This is a landmark contribution and may well mark a fundamental shift in how we think about effectively intervening to help save lives of suicidal patients.”
David A. Jobes, PhD, Professor of Psychology, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, USA; Past President, American Association of Suicidology
"The Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP) is a new and highly promising brief therapy that can be administered in addition to treatment as usual. ASSIP originated after many years of clinical practice and research by the authors, who were able to integrate their model with a truly international wealth of knowledge. ASSIP is a precious gift to all of us who fight against suicide."
Professor Diego de Leo AO, Director, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, Griffith University, Mt. Gravatt, QLD, Australia
"The suicide prevention and behavioral health fields have been preoccupied with suicide risk assessment. Finally, with ASSIP there is a brief outpatient intervention to treat individuals at risk of suicide following an attempt! The simple and easy-to-train ASSIP model centers on direct engagement and collaboration and produces strong results, as the 24-month follow-up study has shown. None of our patients should die alone and in despair – every behavioral health professional should take note of the ASSIP program!"
David W. Covington, LPC, MBA, CEO & President, Recovery Innovations, Inc., Phoenix, AZ; Co-Lead Zero Suicide Advisory Board; Executive Member National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention