All posts by johnsommersflanagan

Suicide Assessment and Intervention: Workshop Learning Objectives!

Shirley Dog

This might be the last call for you to sign up for the upcoming suicide workshop in Missoula. To help you lean toward attending, I’m doing something against my own advice. Below I’m listing the extremely exciting workshop Learning Objectives. Why is that against my own advice? Because usually I think Learning Objectives are obnoxiously boring. However, because I’m so into this topic, the LOs seem fascinating to me. . . this is just more evidence that I’ve lost my perspective and judgment. Anyhow, here they are:

  1. Build Your Suicide Knowledge
  • Bust four BIG suicide myths
  • Deepen your understanding of the phenomenon of suicide (e.g., eight risk dimensions)
  • Articulate the pros, cons, and caveats of assessing suicide risk among students and clients
  • Review the SPRC Suicide Assessment and Management Competencies

2. Expand and Practice Suicide Assessment and Intervention Skills

  • Learn, develop, and practice skills for collecting accurate suicide assessment information
  • Integrate your understanding of the eight suicide risk dimensions into your suicide assessment and intervention process
  • Develop and practice skills for (a) asking directly, (b) assessing social connections, (c) assessing hopelessness, (d) dealing with irritability, (e) collaborative safety planning, (f) lethal means restriction, (g) using five different intervention techniques, and more.

3. Develop Your Self-Awareness and Refine Your Attitude Toward Suicide

  • Explore your attitudes toward and reactions to suicide and talk about suicide
  • Imagine how you would face and cope with completed suicides
  • Track, throughout the workshop, how the process of acquiring suicide knowledge and practicing suicide assessment and intervention skills, affects you psychologically and emotionally.

Check out the registration form here:

Suicide and MSE Registration Form 2018

Or, call 406-243-5252 to find out what you need to do to register for the Friday, April 6 workshop.

The Secret Self-Regulation Cure: A Practically Perfect Parenting Podcast

Rocks and Trunk Up

Often, parents and professionals place too much emphasis on children’s surface behaviors, such as “being patient and polite” or “high academic, athletic, or music/art achievements.” This isn’t terrible, but it misses an important idea. In fact, being a patient, polite, high achiever requires several different foundational skills or abilities. One of these foundational requisites is: Self-regulation.

In the latest Practically Perfect Parenting Podcast, Dr. Sara Polanchek and I talk about how to help children develop self-regulation skills. Aside from being fun and hilarious (I’m mocking myself here), this podcast includes useful (but not necessarily “secret”) information.

You can listen on iTunes:

Or you can listen on Libsyn:




New Journal Article – Conversations about suicide: Strategies for detecting and assessing suicide risk

Hey Blog Readers.

For those of you who might be interested, I just published a new article on suicide assessment and interventions in the Journal of Health Service Psychology. The article title is, “Conversations about suicide: Strategies for detecting and assessing suicide risk.” The article is designed to help practitioners who work or may find themselves working with suicidal clients.

Here’s a link to the article:

John Semi Prof

Hey . . . We’ve got a position opening for a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Counselor Education at the University of Montana

Let me begin with a rhetorical question.

Who wouldn’t want to work in beautiful Missoula, Montana along with fantastic colleagues? On most days, you can hike up Mount Sentinel and get this view (it’s better live) in less than 20 minutes.

From M

I’m using my blog to help spread the news that we’re looking for a full-time, visiting assistant professor in our department at the University of Montana. Why visiting? That’s because we just got permission to search and thought it would be easier to hire a nine-month visiting (mid-August to mid-May) and then we’ll be searching for a tenure-track person in early fall. Of course, it’s possible that the visiting person will apply for an get the tenure-track position, but not necessarily. To check out the details of the position, please click here:

FYI, the University of Montana (which happens to be the coolest place on the planet right now) is an ADA/EOE/AA/Veteran’s Preference Employer.

Your Life is Now: Trapper Creek Reflections

John Sommers-Flanagan

The Road

Note: This is a re-post. I had a chance to drive to Trapper this past week with one of our doc students and I was reminded of the powerful life experiences that happen at Trapper Creek Job Corps.


Sometimes on Thursday or Fridays I drive from Missoula to Trapper Creek Job Corps. Then I drive back the same day. It’s a 140 mile round trip. Sometimes I have interns with me. The company makes the miles go by more quickly. Sometimes the interns are very nervous sitting next to me for the whole drive and consequently compete to see who gets the back seat. This makes me wonder if maybe I shouldn’t quiz them about theories of counseling and psychotherapy as we drive there together. Although I wonder about this . . . I haven’t changed my behavior. Maybe this means I’m trying to scare them all into the…

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