What is it about?

Suicide bereavement is a newly developing field of research in the UK, yet over 6,600 people take their own lives here every year. This paper looks at the experiences of three women (trainee psychotherapists) who have lost their mothers to suicide. The findings show that, in many ways, this is an indigestible experience with long-lasting impact.

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Why is it important?

The findings are particularly relevant for therapists and therapy training organisations. If trainees are bereaved by suicide, there could be a need to increase their sense of safety in experiential aspects of training programmes. They may also require additional support around self-care and endings. Finally, the findings pointed to the intergenerational context and impact of suicide in families.


I hope that this paper adds to the growing field of suicide bereavement research. I am personally passionate about it and hope that this comes across when you read it. This piece of MA research forms the foundation for my PhD, which aims to explore the intergenerational trauma of suicide in families.

Kelly Stewart
University of Edinburgh

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A trainee psychotherapist’s heuristic exploration of losing a mother to suicide, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, September 2018, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/03069885.2018.1519181.
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