418: Surviving Suicide Loss: Making Your Way Beyond the Ruins
Rita Schulte, M.A.
Rita A. Schulte, LPC
9506 B Lee Hwy.
Fairfax, VA 22031
Suicide is an event that can profoundly disrupt the constructs that survivors take for granted regarding life, sometimes traumatically shaking the very foundations of one’s assumptive world. While post-traumatic growth (PTG) is a hot topic today, historically, mental health providers have spent decades helping people cope with trauma instead of focusing on their potential for resiliency. This workshop will assist clinicians working with survivors of suicide as they explore three areas of impact that will lead to PTG. It will provide a road map for clinicians as they help survivors feel their way toward new sustainable frameworks of meaning by interrogating the tacit assumptions about life, God, and the world around them challenged by the trauma. As a suicide survivor and psychotherapist, the presenter brings a dual awareness that will help prepare clinicians in their work with suicidal clients and the survivors of suicide who are left behind.
• Name and describe three areas of impact affecting survivors of suicide: 1) traumatized brain, 2) guilt/shame/complex trauma, and 3) existential shattering/crisis of faith/belief
• Discuss awareness building and meaning-making for survivors using storytelling, Somatic Resourcing, Parts work, Polyvagal theory, and DBT exercises within sessions with a licensed mental health professional
• Identify resilience-building skills that will move survivors toward post-traumatic growth, and discuss how to target clients’ underdeveloped and overdeveloped skills