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CBT Radio

Sep 6, 2016

Episode # 45


Running Time: 48:52


Podcast relevance: Professionals


In this episode, R. Trent Codd, III, Ed.S. speaks with Thomas Ellis, PsyD about the treatment of suicidal patients. Some of the items discussed in this episode include:

  • Whether no-suicide contracts are efficacious and whether they reduce liability
  • Whether suicidality is best seen as a symptom of another illness
  • Developments in the suicidology literature
  • Our ability to predict suicide on an individual basis
  • The important distinction between risk factors and warning signs
  • Minimum competency standards for treating suicidal patients
  • And, more!


Thomas Ellis, PsyD Bio


Thomas E. Ellis, PsyD, ABPP, is Senior Psychologist and past Director of Psychology at the Menninger Clinic, and Professor of Psychiatry in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas at Austin and his doctorate at Baylor University. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Clinical and Psychotherapy Divisions) and Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology (Cognitive Behavior Therapy). He is a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and Associate Fellow and Supervisor at the Albert Ellis Institute. His research and publications focus primarily on the problem of suicide, including cognitive characteristics of suicidal individuals and the effectiveness of suicide-specific therapeutic interventions. His books include Suicide Risk: Assessment and Response Guidelines (with W. Fremouw and M. dePerczel, 1990), Choosing to Live: How to Defeat Suicide through Cognitive Therapy (with C. Newman, 1996), and Cognition and Suicide: Theory, Research, and Practice (2006). He is the 2011 recipient of the Roger J. Tierney Award from the American Association of Suicidology, in recognition of distinguished contributions to the organization and the field of suicidology.


Episode-related links and resources


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Ellis, T.E., & Newman, C.F. (1996). Choosing to Live: How to Defeat Suicide through Cognitive Therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

Ellis, T. E., & Rufino, K. A. (2015). A psychometric study of the Suicide Cognitions Scale with psychiatric inpatients. Psychological Assessment, 27(1), 82–89. doi:10.1037/pas0000028

Ellis, T. E., Rufino, K. A., Allen, J. G., Fowler, J. C., & Jobes, D. A. (2015). Impact of a suicide-specific intervention within inpatient psychiatric care: the collaborative assessment and management of suicidality. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 45(5), 556–566. doi:10.1111/sltb.12151

Jobes, D. A. (2016). Managing suicidal risk: A collaborative approach (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.

Joiner, T. E. J. (2005). Why people die by suicide. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. doi:10.1037/13748-018

May, A. M., & Klonsky, E. D. (2015). “Impulsive” Suicide Attempts: What Do We Really Mean? Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, (August). doi:10.1037/per0000160

Nadorff, M. R., Ellis, T. E., Allen, J. G., Winer, E. S., & Herrera, S. (2014). Presence and persistence of sleep-related symptoms and suicidal ideation in psychiatric inpatients. Crisis, 35(6), 398–405. doi:10.1027/0227-5910/a000279

Rudd, M. D., Berman, A. L., Joiner, T. E., Nock, M. K., Silverman, M. M., Mandrusiak, M., … Witte, T. (2006). Warning Signs for Suicide : Theory , Research , and Clinical Applications. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 36(3), 255–262.

Shea, S. C. (2002). The Practical Art of Suicide Assessment: A guide for mental health professionals and substance abuse counselors. New York: Wiley.

Stanley, B., & Brown, G. K. (2012). Safety Planning Intervention: A Brief Intervention to Mitigate Suicide Risk. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 19(2), 256–264. doi:10.1016/j.cbpra.2011.01.001

Wenzel, A., Brown, G. K., & Beck, A. T. (2009). Cognitive Therapy for Suicidal Patients: Scientific and Clinical Applications. New York: Guilford.