Professional Certificate in Working with Suicide and Self-Harm

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This course is specifically designed to address the needs of professionals working with those who may present with suicide ideation, have made suicide attempts or are engaging in self-harm.


According to The National Office of Suicide Prevention, in 2018 there were 352 suicides in Ireland and 12,558 of self-harm presentations to hospitals. The highest rates of self-harm are consistently recorded in young people.

The content of this course will be experiential in nature focused on building confidence and assurance when responding to such issues. Working with suicide and self-harm can be challenging therefore this course will also address the importance of supporting your own wellbeing while meeting the needs of our clients.


Who is this course for?  

This 5-day course is suitable for Psychotherapists, Counselling students, Psychologists, Social care workers, GPs, Residential care workers and other Allied Health professionals. It is aimed at those who wish to develop insight in how to respond to the needs of clients in crisis while maintaining the therapeutic relationship deep rooted in compassion and care.


What are the benefits of doing this course?  

During this course, you will gain insight into why suicide becomes the option to end emotional pain and self-harm becomes the method to live with emotional distress. We will explore both the myths and facts and the relationship between suicide and self-harm, how to assess the level of risk and respond rather than react. The course will provide a space to explore how to support ourselves in this work and the challenges that can emerge.


What will you learn? 

This course will provide the participants with a deeper understanding of how to work with suicide and self-harm with knowledge, self-awareness and confidence. It will provide skills in how to address these issues meeting both the needs of the client and the care of the professional in the therapeutic alliance.


Course Details




TIMETABLE: From 9.30 am to 4.30 pm


Current Intake Schedule:


Day 1:

Day 2: 

Day 3: 
Day 4: 
Day 5: 



AWARD: PCI College Professional Certificate in Working with Suicide and Self-harm


VENUE: Live Online



DAY ONE: Working with suicide

  • Introduction
  • House Keeping
  • Expectations of course
  • Boundaries and Confidentiality


Suicide Module/Morning

1. Definition and present Prevalence Rates

2. Warning Signs/Increased Risk Factors

3. React/Respond.

4. Correct Language to use

5. Myths and Facts of Suicide

6. Conducting Risk Assessment


Suicide Module/Afternoon

1. Suicide Intervention Module of therapy

2. Key Goals of Therapy/Therapeutic Relationship

3. Coping Strategies/Solution focused CBT /DBT

4. Closing Plan

5. Case Studies/Role play

6. Duty of care/Self- care


DAY TWO: Working with Self Harm

  • Check in/questions re previous day
  • Introduction to self- harm Module
  • Definition/Rates
  • Correct language
  • Working with presentation of self- harm/Label Exercise/Case studies
  • Meaning and Function/Video
  • Moving from self-harm to self-care/New strategies


DAY THREE: Working with children and adolescents engaging in self harm and struggling with suicide ideation

  • Initial intake and Risk Assessment protocol
  • Child protection /confidentiality/duty of care
  • Understanding Child development and cognitive ability/Impact of early Child hood Trauma
  • The Highly sensitive Child/Issues young people present with
  • The Therapeutic relationship/mediums to engage with children and adolescent
  • Supporting parents and Managing Parental Conflict


DAY FOUR: Policies & Procedures/Best Practice

  • Policies and Procedures to ensure best practice/Initial intake forms/Risk Assessment/confidentiality/parental consent etc.
  • Note taking when working with high risk clients
  • Coroner court proceedings and giving evidence following loss of client through suicide
  • The importance of self care and recognising burnout



  • Poster presentations
  • The changing world and the new norm for therapists post Covid/Technology and new ways of connecting creating a safe space
  • New issues that are presenting as a result of pandemic that will increase risk 
  • Importance of supervision
  • Group closing and fun exercise



  • Attend all 5 days
  • Prepare a poster presentation, which will be presented on Day 5 and address the following: Theory, Case presentation, Reflexive Statement, Implication for Practice, References
  • Reflexive statement

Entry Requirements



Applicants must have an existing qualification as a practicing counsellor, psycotherapist, social worker or in the social and allied health professions. 


IT SKILLS: Students require sufficient IT skills to complete the course.


Students can expect to be provided with advice and support concerning any learning difficulties that they may encounter. Any diagnosed learning difficulty, e.g. dyslexia, must be noted on the application.

Course Fees



Full Price: €680

PCI College Graduate*: €640

PCI College BSc/MSc Student & Alumni Member Discount Price: €580 - Join Alumni group on LinkedIn here to avail of discount.

*PCI College Graduate rate applies to BSc Degree and Postgraduate students only.



Applicants are invited to book online using the book now. Applications must be accompanied by the payment of the full course fee. Applicants are entitled to a refund if they decide to cancel within 14 days of receipt of their booking, and didn't participate on the course. Please note that the name used on your application needs to be the same name that you have on your passport.


Fees are non-refundable in all personal circumstances. The College makes every effort to avoid altering course times, course commencement and conclusion dates. However, should any changes be necessary, you will be notified at the earliest opportunity. All courses run subject to demand and the formation of a viable class cohort. A full refund will be given to all applicants in the event that the class does not proceed


For more information, please visit our full Terms & Conditions page.

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