Online training

Dealing with Distress: Working with Suicide and Self-Harm Online Training

Was £45.00

Our default response to self-harm and suicidality is to think in terms of ‘risk’. But what if that approach in itself actually increases the risk? What if, instead, we thought in terms of reducing distress, and what if by doing that it in fact also reduced the risk?

This course looks at how to develop a collaborative – and kinder – approach to working with people in intense pain, and explains the fundamental but enlightening neuroscience behind both self-harm and suicide.

“I have worked for Mind and been a Samaritan and I only wish I had had this training first.”

“I found this training to be one of the best I have ever taken. Carolyn has created an incredibly helpful, insightful and truly useful course here. Her message of a ‘hope-filled life’ and our role as ‘coach’ in helping our clients achieve this is so empowering both for client and therapist. Her generosity with regards to providing resources has not gone unnoticed either. Thank you so much Carolyn … you are a shining light in what is often a very dark place.”

“A very different and very insightful course, where the author takes the time to go in depth into aspects often only brushed upon, like the neurobiological perspective on suicide and self-harm. Several concepts, like the ‘blue zone’, or the ‘recovery triangle’ are incredibly helpful to consider. But maybe most importantly, the whole course revolves around the reduction of distress, rather than the ‘prevention’ of suicide and self-harm, which is very close to my own philosophy. It is respectful, considerate and vigorous in its overall tone. I warmly recommend it.”

“This course has given me a different insight into distress, and how and why that might lead to suicide or self harm. It’s a well thought-through and structured course, in good sized lessons, and I really appreciated the additional links and supporting material. It has given me a lot to reflect on, and consider in my practice for all my clients in distress.”

“Carolyn’s insight and the solid research that she does, mean that the training that she offers practitioners is both evidence based, academic and uniquely, it is based in the experience of someone who has sat in the client’s seat and has experienced a journey of healing. Thank you Carolyn for providing such important training.”

“This training was informative and (strangely) uplifting. Carolyn clearly explained what so many other training courses I have taken haven’t, and this is how best to support someone in crisis. I will be able to use her models and explanations and take them in to many other aspects of the counselling work and not just suicide and self harm. Thank you for you all you do this this subject, you’re brilliant.”

“Excellent – a whole new way of thinking when working with clients. Useful resources to share,  very clear and loved the personal story of Carolyn’s recovery. I feel much less anxious about working with high risk clients”

“I found this course so inspirational. It helped to give me clarification and a sense of therapeutic direction.  Carolyn’s struggle,  her traumatic experiences and most of all her authenticity gave a message of hope, particularly in not advocating a battle between life and death but a collaboration and acquisition of skills and a growth mindset to lessen often all consuming distress.”

“This has been a well paced and informative course. Carolyn has a wonderful way of being able to relate in to her thinking and understanding of her world and how to enable others from shifting towards a life deserved. I will be making sure the GP’s and Nurses I work with attend this training. Thank you so much!”

“Absolutely excellent! The best training on working with suicidal distress I’ve done.”

“Amazing – it has really challenged me to think about suicide and self-harm in a new way.”

“I was really impressed with the whole course & the overwhelmingly positive messages it left me with. I thought the whole course was very well researched, written & presented. I wasn’t looking forward to studying this course particularly, but feel better equipped, more confident & with more psychoeducation about the pathology, my role when working with distressed clients, & galvanised to work in a more ‘challenging’ way with some of my clients. Thank you, Carolyn.”


  • Available instantly upon purchase
  • 6 hours of CPD with certificate upon completion
  • Downloadable resources and additional reading for a comprehensive learning experience
  • Videos available to stream or also downloadable for offline viewing
  • Lifetime access
  • Start/stop and return as often as you like
  • Easy to use: only needs a web browser
  • Individual licence only: for multiple users and information about discounts for organisations, please click here.

‘Suicide is a calamity of the inner world, where feelings, memories, and beliefs may brew up hurricane winds of anguish powerful enough to blow someone away.’ – John Maltsberger.

After suicide, there are no second chances. We can’t go back and try a different, or better way, of supporting someone to see if that works instead.  We may have just the one chance to get it right, and none of us wants to get it wrong.

‘No one is killing themselves on my watch!’ we may vow. And yet a million people worldwide kill themselves each year. If a million people every year died as a result of terrorism, imagine the outcry, the public attention, the funding, and the need for a solution.

Research reveals a fair bit about the risk factors for suicide. But does that information enable us to predict with any accuracy whether our client, or our friend, or our family member will attempt to kill themselves?

This course looks at a variety of issues around self-harm and suicidality, specifically behaviours resulting from states of extreme distress linked to trauma. The aim of the course is to build your confidence in working with or supporting people who are severely distressed, and to equip you to work as effectively as possible to promote recovery and healing from this distress, so that self-harm and suicide are no longer seen as ‘the only way out’. I look at questions such as:

  • How can you tell if someone is imminently suicidal – is it even possible? – and what should you then do about it?
  • How can we help someone who is suicidal without getting stuck in a battle between life and death?
  • Is someone suicidal ‘mentally ill’, and do they have ‘mental capacity’?
  • Why do some people self-harm? Is it just ‘attention-seeking’? In what way might it make sense at a neurobiological level?
  • Does self-harm increase or decrease the risk of completed suicide?
  • Do policies to prevent suicide actually work, or might they actually be increasing the risk?
  • How can we help people who are in severe distress without them becoming too ‘dependent’?
  • Does hospitalisation work, or does it make things worse?
  • What can we actually DO to help people feel better?

This course, aimed principally at counsellors and psychotherapists, but also suitable for a wide range of professionals and indeed anyone supporting survivors of trauma, looks at how to work safely and effectively with self-harm and suicide: to cope with crisis and deal with distress. It is based on the latest theory and neuroscience research, alongside my own narrative of numerous suicide attempts, what helped and what didn’t.

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