Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Suicidality

  • Keri Neild

Student thesis: Doctor of Clinical Psychology


It is estimated that 793,000 people world-wide died from suicide in 2016. Suicide has a devastating effect on families, friends, workplaces, schools and communities, as well as an economic cost. Cognitive Behaviour therapy (CBT) has been found to be an effective treatment for suicide prevention. Paper one provides contemporary evidence for the effectiveness of CBT for reducing suicide ideation and behaviour across the lifespan. A systematic review was conducted with twenty-five papers identified. Nineteen out of the 25 included papers concluded that interventions involving a substantial element of CBT lead to significant reductions in suicide outcomes. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed. Paper two investigates how the main therapeutic components of CBT skills and therapeutic alliance may have a role in reducing suicide behaviour and its correlates. There was no evidence to suggest that the presence of increased key CBT skills or therapeutic alliance was related to improved suicide outcomes. However, there was evidence that CBT for suicide prevention improved outcomes with the highly selected sample. Future recommendations are discussed in line with study limitations. Paper three critically reflects on the journey of conducting a doctoral thesis. This paper provides the opportunity to consider more deeply the decision making processes involved and lessons learned.
Date of Award31 Dec 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorRichard Brown (Supervisor)


  • Suicide
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Systematic review

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