Year: 1999 Source: American Journal of Psychiatry, v.156, no.11, (November 1999), p.1843 SIEC No: 20020745

This letter to the editor comments on Gutheil & Schetky’s suggestions for the clinical management of time-based & contingent suicidal intentions. It is argued that therapists who share their feelings of helplessness with their suicidal patients may not provide a pathway to empathic connection like Gutheil & Schetky suggest but rather reinforce the patients’ sense of control over their therapist. The letter also comments on the ‘splitting defense’ & suggests that interpretation of this defense may gradually lead to an alleviation of suicidal drive. Gutheil & Schetky’s response follows. (2 refs.)