Saturday, February 29, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM PST
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Google Community Space
188 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105

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W. Keith Sutton, Psy.D. 
Association of Family Therapists of Northern California, Bay Area Community Counseling, Institute for the Advancement of Psychotherapy , Newport Academy 

Youth Suicide Prevention Workshop 

The Institute for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, in association with the Association of Family Therapists of Northern California (AFTNC), Bay Area Community Counseling (BACC), and Newport Academy, have invited Guy Diamond, PhD, the developer of Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT) to come to San Francisco to present on Youth Suicide Prevention.  ABFT is the only evidence based treatment for adolescent suicide, and the approach was developed by working with adolescents and families after the adolescents' suicide attempt.  This workshop provides an introduction to state of the art, empirically supported clinical strategies to help mental health professionals and others who come in contact with suicidal youth manage crises related to suicidal thoughts and behaviors as well as engage families in treatment.  It also fulfills the six hour suicide prevention training requirement for psychologists in the state of California.  

The workshop has four parts as described below.


We present a family centered-care and trauma informed perspective to understand risk assessment, safety planning, and family engagement. We then present some general national prevalence data to help professionals better understand suicide in the community.

Understanding Suicide Risk

We review standard procedures for conducting thorough suicide risk assessments with youth to help professionals determine whether a client can be treated safely on an outpatient basis. This includes reviewing relevant risk factors, warning signs, and protective factors for youth as well as the standard questions for assessing current suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Standardized measures to assist with assessment are presented. Additionally, how to conduct the assessment process with youth and their parents is discussed. Finally, the decision making process post assessment is reviewed. Audience members will have the opportunity to engage in an experiential exercise related to suicide risk assessment.

Safety Planning

We review and teach the current models for conducing safety planning with suicidal youth and their families. These empirically supported safety plans are not suicide contracts where youth are required to make a” promise” to avoid suicide and self-injury. Instead, safety planning offers youth and parents a specific step-by- step plan for what to do if and when suicidal thinking emerges. We discuss how to prepare families to engage in safety planning, how to facilitate the process, and the importance of involving parents in safety planning when working with youth. Audience members will have an opportunity to practice safety planning during the workshop.

Engaging Parents and Youth

We discuss strategies for parent engagement when professionals need to refer adolescents and/or their families to mental health treatment. Based on principles of attachment-based family therapy (Diamond, Diamond, & Levy, 2014), specific clinical engagement strategies help to reduce help-seeking barriers and increase parental motivation to find appropriate care for their child. Audience members will have opportunities to practice these techniques during the workshop.

Guy Diamond, PhD is the developer of Attachment Based Family Therapy. His model, Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT) is the only evidence based family therapy model for suicidal youth available. Since teens and young adults are most at risk for suicide of any other age group, it is central that psychologists learn how to work with family members to prevent possible death. Individual approaches to suicidal youth do not provide that training. 

*This is a co-sponsored event in conjunction with Association of Family Therapists of Northern California,  
Bay Area Community CounselingThe Institute for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, and Newport Academy.



Date: February 29, 2020

Location: Google Community Space

             188 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105 

Time: 10am - 5pm  

Cost: $150 ($75 student/pre-licensed) 

CE: $25 (free for AFTNC members)
       (10% discount for groups of 4 or more - email info@sfiap.com)