Two Short Suicide and Psychotherapy Video Clips

As a part of my presentations for ACA last week, I prepared a couple of short video clips. These clips are part of a much, much longer, three-volume (7.5 hour) video series produced and published by psychotherapy.net. Victor Yalom of psychotherapy.net gave me permission to occasionally share a few short clips like these. If you’re interested in purchasing the whole video series (or having your library do so), you can check out the series here: https://www.psychotherapy.net/videos/expert/john-sommers-flanagan

IMHO, although the whole video series is excellent and obviously I recommend it, these clips can be used all by themselves to stimulate class discussions. Check them out if you’re interested.

Clip 1: Opening a Session with Kennedy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR7YU0VrHqw

Kennedy is a 15-year-old cisgender female referred by her parents for suicidal ideation. Although a case could be made for using a family systems approach, this opening is of me working 1-1 with Kennedy. When I show this video, I like to emphasize that I’m using a “Strengths-based Approach” AND I’m also asking a series of questions that pull for Kennedy to talk about her distress. This is because clients generally need to talk about their distress before they can focus on strengths or solutions. Instead of practicing “toxic positivity” this approach emphasizes the need to come alongside and be empathic with client pain and distress.

Clip 2: A Trial Interpretation with Chase: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNBR3bKyE4I

Chase is a 35-year-old cisgender Gay male. In this brief excerpt, I try (somewhat poorly) to use a pattern interpretation to facilitate insight into his history of social relationships. Chase’s response is to dismiss my interpretation. Back in my psychoanalytic days, we talked about and used trial interpretations to gauge whether an abstract-oriented psychodynamic approach was a good fit for clients. Chase’s response is so dismissive that I immediately shift to using a very concrete approach to analyzing his social universe. Then, when Chase isn’t able to identify anyone who is validating, I use a strategy I call “Building hope from the bottom up” to help him start the brainstorming process.

A Visual of Chase’s Social Universe

A big thanks to psychotherapy.net and Victor Yalom for their support of this work.

As always, if you have thoughts or feedback on these clips or life in general, please feel free to share.

John S-F

6 thoughts on “Two Short Suicide and Psychotherapy Video Clips”

  1. Hi, Dr. John S-F, Both these video clips help me self reflect. The girls whose parents fight resonates with me as my husband and I continue learning how to relate to our children and grandchildren….as we have both been judged by our children as being dysfunctional and fighting during their growing up wih us. I heard and appreciated your reflection back to the young woman, re.: the ‘stress of living in a home environment where her parents are mean to each other, cry and walk out on each other”, Your Parents are human. It didn’t really help her. She still feels the need to barricade herself away from them.

    In Case’s circumstance of feeling unvalidated, I thought your concrete diagram might help him realize that he could choose to be with people who are more neutral, rather than the ones who are more toxic. I wonder what it is about himself that makes him try so hard to get positive relationship with Michael and Bill, these two men who are not able to give it to him.?

    Elizabeth Sherk who enjoyed and learned so much a year ago in the Yellow Lab. Thank you for helping me grow in practicing the life skills of cultivating postivity.

    On Mon, Apr 18, 2022 at 1:26 PM John Sommers-Flanagan wrote:

    > johnsommersflanagan posted: ” As a part of my presentations for ACA last > week, I prepared a couple of short video clips. These clips are part of a > much, much longer, three-volume (7.5 hour) video series produced and > published by psychotherapy.net. Victor Yalom of psychotherapy.ne” >

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Good to hear from you. I’m so happy you still identify with the “Yellow Lab.” I still appreciate your thoughtful reflections. I hope all is well in your life and in your efforts to cultivate positivity!

      Best,

      John

  2. Thanks for posting these videos.
    Just fyi when I click on the second video, I hear two audios going at once.

  3. Dear John,

    I have put these in my to do list. Thank you for sharing them. I’ll let you know any comments after I watch. You’re a good man. (and good at riding the rope tow too) warmly, Sally

    Sally Sanders Website: Calligraphy & Design Face Book phone: MST 928-420-3559 Mailing Address: 1567 Shoup St. Prescott, AZ 86305

    On Mon, Apr 18, 2022 at 10:26 AM John Sommers-Flanagan wrote:

    > johnsommersflanagan posted: ” As a part of my presentations for ACA last > week, I prepared a couple of short video clips. These clips are part of a > much, much longer, three-volume (7.5 hour) video series produced and > published by psychotherapy.net. Victor Yalom of psychotherapy.ne” >

    1. Thanks Sally. It’s good to hear your voice in this note. As you know, the key to excellence with rope tows is to stay focused and to not pay attention to others who may be desperately seeking to distract you. That’s what I always say.

      Love from Montana!

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