Year: 2001 Source: Journal of Psychotherapy Practice and Research, v.10, no.4, (Fall 2001), p.269-276 SIEC No: 20020458

This article focuses on 2 components of psychodynamic psychotherapy with suicidal patients. First, the value & importance of establishing & maintaining a clearly defined therapeutic alliance is noted & explored. A carefully negotiated alliance can become an edge or boundary across which the survival of the therapy, as well as the patient, can be negotiated. Attention to the vicissitudes of the alliance is hypothesized to be the central initial therapeutic action with suicidal patients. The author explores the importance of ‘taking’ rather than ‘refusing’ the transferences offered by the suicidal patient, particularly negative & erotic transferences. (14 refs)