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304 | Surviving the Trauma of Suicide Loss: Post-traumatic Growth and Resilience

Friday 9/15 8:45 – 10:00 AM, Suicide and Self-harm: Awareness, Prevention, and Postvention, Workshop Tracks


Rita A. Schulte, M.A.



Approved For CE

Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, Coaches

Approved For CME/CEU




Suicide is an event that can profoundly disrupt survivors’ taken-for-granted constructs about life, sometimes traumatically shaking the very foundations of one’s assumptive world. While post-traumatic growth (PTG) is a hot topic today, historically licensed mental health providers and ministry leaders have spent decades helping people cope with trauma instead of focusing on the client’s potential for resiliency. This workshop will assist clinicians working with Christian survivors of suicide as they explore three areas of impact that will lead to PTG. It will provide a roadmap for clinicians as they help survivors grope their way toward new sustainable frameworks of meaning by interrogating the tacit assumptions about life, God, and the world around them that were challenged by the trauma. As a suicide survivor and psychotherapist, the presenter brings a dual awareness that will help prepare clinicians for their work with suicidal clients and the survivors of suicide who are left behind.

Learning Objectives

1. Name and describe three areas of impact affecting Christian survivors of suicide
2. Discuss awareness-building and meaning-making for survivors using storytelling, Somatic Resourcing, Parts work, Polyvagal theory, and DBT exercises within sessions with licensed mental health professionals
3. Identify resilience-building skills that will move survivors toward post-traumatic growth (PTG) and discuss how to target clients with underdeveloped and overdeveloped skills
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