Year: 2015 Source: Counselling and Psychotherapy Research.(2004).4(1):62-71. DOI:10.1080/14733140412331384068 SIEC No: 20150113

Increasing suicide rates among specific groups of the population have led to the publication of suicide reduction targets and guidelines applicable to all mental health professionals, including counsellors. It is now widely expected that mental health workers possess skills and knowledge in the assessment of suicide risk. This research study used a discourse analysis approach to analyse 16 counselling transcripts generated from assessment interviews with suicidal Ôclient actorsÕ. Clients generally only referred to suicide by metaphors. CounsellorsÕ responses to suicidal clients were primarily reflective. There was little evidence of a suicide risk assessment being undertaken in the counselling discourse. Implications for suicidal clients, counsellors and the counselling profession are discussed and further areas for research highlighted.