Theoretical Models of Adult Suicide Behavior Based on Psychodynamic and Cognitive Theory




Peterson, Heather Leona

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University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work


Suicide is a significant societal problem, with vast social and economic consequences. Though studies suggest that interacting with suicidal clients is highly probable, many social workers lack the knowledge to manage this difficult task. Recently, research has called for social workers to reformulate classical theory to advance our understanding of suicidal ideation and behavior. The current article proposes two explanatory models of suicidal behavior based on divergent classical theories. Both theories’ underlying assumptions were examined, in order to generate and compare the resultant models. Such efforts ensure that clinical practice and future research on suicidal behavior have sound theoretical grounding.



Suicide, Depression, Psychodynamic Theory, Cognitive Theory, Heather Leona Peterson, Perspectives on Social Work, Suicide, Depression, Psychodynamic Theory, Cognitive theory, Social work, Perspectives on Social Work