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Dr Nick Bendit

Chronically Suicidal Clients: Developing Understanding and Strategies for Help

28 June 2019 | Sydney

Workshop overview

For many clients, suicidal feelings occur once in their life during periods when they are overwhelmed by current life stressors.  Helping such clients is usually a relatively straightforward process. The most commonly applied psychotherapeutic and psychiatric techniques are usually successful. However, more difficult are those clients who have been suicidal all of their adult life. These clients do not respond to medication, social support, community mental health teams, and most other forms of psychotherapy. Many of these clients are also habitually self-destructive, regularly hurting themselves and acting on suicidal impulses. Dealing with clients who are both chronically suicidal and self-destructive can be a source of great anxiety for many professionals. This workshop is intended to help participants develop an understanding of the source of chronic suicidal thoughts and actions, and provide some basic principles for use when treating such clients. This workshop is intended to help participants better understand how developmental trauma creates these unbearable feelings and actions within these clients, and through understanding this, provide some basic principles of how to help them. Further adult trauma exacerbates the clients’ problems and complicates treatment. The workshop is intended to be practical in nature, but will also cover the research that supports evidence-based treatment. Finally, we will focus on the different challenges working with chronically suicidal clients present to professionals, and some strategies for managing them.

Dr. Nick Bendit is a staff specialist psychiatrist working at the Centre for Psychotherapy (Newcastle, Australia), a publicly funded outpatient psychotherapy unit offering long-term psychotherapy for patients with borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, and dissociative disorders (DID). He treats patients, supervises and teaches in the Conversational Model, and also treats patients, and teaches mental health clinicians, in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). The Centre for Psychotherapy has completed a randomised controlled trial comparing the outcome for patients with borderline personality disorder treated with either DBT or the Conversational Model. Nick is the Director of Training for ANZAP’s 3 year psychodynamic psychotherapy training in Conversational Model.

  • To be able to differentiate between acute suicidal crises and chronic suicidality in clients.
  • To understand the cause of chronic suicidality and its relationship to developmental trauma, and the exacerbation of later adult trauma.
  • To understand the relationship between chronic suicidality, deliberate self-harm and suicide attempts.
  • How to apply practical psychotherapeutic techniques to chronically suicidal clients.
  • How to manage interfacing with other systems (GPs, hospitals, community mental health teams etc) when working with chronically suicidal clients.
  • How to manage one’s own feelings when dealing with chronically suicidal clients, particularly during times of crisis.
  • To be aware of the research base supporting evidence based interventions for chronically suicidal clients.

Counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, social workers, case managers and anyone else working with chronically suicidal clients.

Early BirdEnds 29 March 2019
$299 full | $199 concession | $279 groups 5+

StandardEnds 27 June 2019
$349 full | $249 concession | $329 groups 5+

The workshop fee includes entrance to the workshop for the one day, a certificate of attendance, and a printed copy of the PowerPoint slides.

All individual registrations are online and payment is by credit card. Please click on the ‘Register now’ button above. A confirmation email will be sent to you automatically.

Groups of five and more who want the group discount and will pay on one credit card will need to download the group registration form and email it to STARTTS. Groups cannot pay online.

NSW Teacher’s Federation Conference Centre
Heritage Room
23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills
Sydney NSW Australia

Central Station is the closest. It is only a couple of blocks walking.

Please check Sydney Transport for the best bus routes.

The closest parking station is Secure Goulburn Street.

9.30am-5pm | Registrations open at 9am

Break morning: 10.45-11.15am
Break lunch: 12.45-1.45pm
Break afternoon: 3.15-3.45pm

A certificate will be emailed after the event to attendees who signed the attendance sheet.

CPD hours = 7

This workshop adheres to the continuing professional development standards of most professional bodies. Please check the CPD policy of your professional body.

CPD formal endorsements

Payment of the registration fee is online by credit card and a receipt/confirmation will be automatically emailed to you. Please bring your receipt to the seminar for proof of registration in case it is needed. An administration fee of $50 applies to all cancellations made more than one month before the event. Registration once paid cannot be cancelled one month or less before the event, regardless of personal circumstances. Registration can be transferred to another delegate only if STARTTS is informed of the name change. The concession price is for full-time students and pensioners only and a photocopy or pdf of a valid concession card must be forwarded to the STARTTS training team upon registration. Online registration is not available for the group price (please fill out the form). Group price is for groups of 5 or more people; must be paid together in one payment; the details of each person in the group must be filled out on the registration form. Registrations will not be confirmed until full payment is received, and full payment must be finalised before the deadline to receive the early bird price and before the start of the event to be allowed to attend. The closing dates for registrations are final and non-negotiable. The STARTTS Training Team can be contacted at or (02) 9646 6700.

Phone: (02) 9646 6700  Ask for the Training Administration Officer

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