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Helpful Phrases and Questions: Webinar Suicidal R&PT

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Use statements that reflect feelings:

  • You feel (very)_____________.
  • That must make you feel ___________________.
  • You sound ________________.
  • You find it (very) ___________.
  • That must be ___________ for you.


Use open-ended questions:

  • What happened today?
  • Can you tell me what’s going on right now?
  • Can you recall what started all of this?
  • How does this make you feel?
  • How long has this been going on?
  • Where do things stand right now?
  • How do you see things turning out?
  • Has something like this ever happened before?
  • Have you ever felt like this before?
  • How has all this affected you?
  • How do you see the problem right now?
  • Which problem(s) do you want to see resolved the most?


Ask questions/Reflect feelings/Don’t argue:

  • What have you tried so far?
  • What has helped in the past? What hasn’t?
  • Who has been most supportive?
  • What help are you looking for now?
  • You seem confused about what to do.
  • Things seem overwhelming right now.
  • It is hard for you to know what to do next.
  • What have you thought of trying?
  • What would you like to do? What gets in the way?
  • What do you think needs to happen?
  • Have you considered ____________? (identify alternatives to suicide)
  • Of the ideas we’ve talked about, what seems best to you?
  • What will you do now?
  • Who can help you with this?

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