Suicide-bereaved individuals’ attitudes toward therapists.
Ward-Ciesielski, E.~~Wielgus, M.~~Jones, C.
Suicide-bereaved individuals represent an important group impacted by suicide. Understanding their experiences following the suicide of a loved one is an important research domain, despite receiving limited attention. Although suicide-bereaved individuals may benefit from mental health treatment, their attitudes toward therapy and therapists are poorly understood. Aims: The present study aimed to understand the extent to which bereaved individualsÕ attitudes toward therapy and therapists are impacted by whether their loved one was in therapy at the time of death. Method: Suicide-bereaved individuals (N = 243) from the United States were recruited to complete an online survey about their experience with and attitudes toward therapy and therapists following the suicide of a loved one. Results: Bereaved individuals whose loved one was in therapy at the time of death (N = 48, 19.8%) reported more negative and less positive attitudes toward the treating therapist than those whose loved one was not in therapy at the time of death (N = 81, 33.3%) or whose loved one was never in therapy/the deceasedÕs therapy status was unknown (N = 114, 46.9%). Conclusion: The deceasedÕs involvement with a therapist appears to be an important factor impacting the experience of bereaved individuals and should be considered when attempting to engage these individuals in postvention.