Carolyn Spring’s Crisis Care, Suicide & Self-Harm Training and Resources
When we think of issues such as suicide, self-harm and crisis, our thoughts can turn immediately towards risk: how do we minimise the risk of harmful and potentially even fatal actions? But I look at things from a slightly different perspective – not least because I struggled over many years with suicidal thoughts and using self-harm as a coping mechanism. Instead I see suicide and self-harm as our best attempt at the time to manage overwhelming distress. And so I’m interested in looking at how we can better manage that distress – firstly through the supportive, empathic presence of someone helping us to regulate our emotions, and secondly through developing the skills we need to be able to self-soothe – largely through psychoeducation.
I’m interested in the neurobiology of suicide and self-harm because it helps to reduce the shame inherent in these triggered states, and because it gives us actual, applicable tools and strategies to manage distress in a way that firstly does no harm. Psychoeducation helps us to find a way out of these hugely distressing states which often are based in trauma, and which also often involve various levels of dissociation.
Our focus should always be on reducing the pain – not on shaming, blaming, controlling, coercing or cajoling.
crisis care resources
When encountering someone who is suicidal, we may have just one chance to get it right, and none of us wants to get it wrong. This course looks at issues around self-harm and suicidality, specifically behaviours resulting from states of extreme distress linked to trauma.
for your toolkit
Grounding and psychoeducational postcards and carry-packs for trauma survivors and those working with them.
Crisis makes sense. The adrenaline of it can become addictive, or be all we’ve known. Life doesn’t feel right if things aren’t frantic, if relationships aren’t disastrous. Crisis can be an attachment cry. Crisis is the language of emotions that we don’t know how to regulate.
One of the hardest things I found in dealing with triggers was the aftermath: the shame, the self-blame, the sense of failure and powerlessness that once again something had happened that I’d had no sense of control over.