The Suicidal Patient: Clinical and Legal Standards of Care, Third Edition

Pages: 382
Item #: 4317307
ISBN: 978-1-4338-1325-2
List Price: $69.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $49.95
Copyright: 2013
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
FREE Shipping

For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


A valuable source for practicing psychologists, psychologists in training, attorneys, and mental health professionals in general, this third edition is a thorough update of a now classic text in the field of suicidology. With over 500 new references, the authors distill the empirical research findings of the past two decades into effective clinical strategies and guidelines that can significantly enhance the quality of care in this high-risk practice area.

The Suicidal Patient provides an overview of the legal landscape, evaluates evidence-based assessment methods, and reviews treatment and management strategies for both outpatients and inpatients. Bongar and Sullivan propose practical risk management strategies for suicide prevention and postvention, emphasizing the importance of effective evaluation and documentation. Significant and extensive new material has been included on firearms, veterans and the military, diversity, and sexual minority status.

This practical resource can help clinicians, supervisors, and administrators provide better care for suicidal patients, and ultimately help better serve all patients — with the ultimate goal of saving lives.

Table of Contents


Foreword to the Second Edition

Foreword to the First Edition


  1. The Knowledge Base
  2. Legal Perspectives
  3. The Assessment of Elevated Risk
  4. Outpatient Management and Treatment of the Suicidal Patient
  5. Inpatient Management and Treatment of the Suicidal Patient
  6. Risk Management: Prevention and Postvention

Afterword: An Abiding Concern for Patient Welfare, Optimal Levels of Care, and the Therapeutic Alliance

Appendix A: Suicide Screening Checklist for Adolescents and Young Adults

Appendix B: Reasons for Living Inventory (Short Form)

Appendix C: Safety Assessment Focused Evaluation — Suicide (SAFE–S)

Appendix D: Evaluation of Suicidal Patients: Risk Assessment and Practice Guidelines



About the Authors

Author Bios

Bruce Bongar, PhD, ABPP, graduated from the University of Wisconsin (with Distinction) with a degree in psychology in 1972, and received his doctorate from the University of Southern California in 1977.

Dr. Bongar is the Calvin Professor of Psychology at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University in Palo Alto, California, and consulting professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Early in his career, Dr. Bongar developed a strong interest in identifying the risk factors associated with suicidal behavior and other clinical emergencies, and he has remained a very prolific contributor to the scholarly literature and research in this area. He is past president of the Section on Clinical Emergencies and Crises of the Society of Clinical Psychology (APA Division 12).

The American Association of Suicidology recognized Dr. Bongar for his work by the early career achievement Edwin S. Shneidman Award (1993) for outstanding contributions to research in suicidology, and the Louis I. Dublin Award (2004) for significant lifetime career contributions to research in suicidology.

In 2008, Dr. Bongar was presented with the Florence Halpern award from the Society of Clinical Psychology for his distinguished contributions to the profession of clinical psychology.  In 2010, he also was awarded the Career Achievement Award from the Section on Clinical Emergencies and Crises of Society of Clinical Psychology for his work on suicide and life-threatening behaviors.

Glenn Sullivan, PhD, graduated magna cum laude with a degree in psychology from the Dominican College of San Rafael and earned his doctorate in clinical psychology at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. He completed his clinical internship at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and a postdoctoral residency in post-deployment mental health at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salem, Virginia.

Dr. Sullivan is an assistant professor of psychology at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). In 2009, he was the recipient of VMI's Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award, which is presented annually to a faculty member "deemed especially talented at inspiring students in the development of their intellect and character."

In addition to his numerous publications and presentations on suicide, Dr. Sullivan maintains an active private practice in Lexington, Virginia. His clinical specializations include psychological assessment, forensic evaluation, and the treatment of combat veterans.