Experiential Training in the Chronological Assessment of Suicide Events (CASE Approach)


(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


Training Institute for Suicide Assessment & Clinical Interviewing (TISA)
Contact TISA for costs.


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Developed by the Training Institute for Suicide Assessment & Clinical Interviewing (TISA), the Chronological Assessment of Suicide Events (CASE Approach) is a flexible interviewing strategy for sensitively and skillfully uncovering suicidal ideation, planning, behaviors, and intent. It was created for use in a variety of settings from outpatient clinics, inpatient units, and school counseling centers to emergency departments and telephone crisis centers. This one-day training is designed to provide participants with intensive experiential training on how to use the CASE Approach effectively. Seven interviewing techniques for enhancing validity when exploring suicidal ideation and other sensitive topics that often lead to suicidal thought are practiced using Scripted Group Role-Playing (SGRP). (The seven techniques are normalization, shame attenuation, the behavioral incident, gentle assumption, denial of the specific, the catch-all question and symptom amplification.) In SGRP all role-plays are scripted—no need for acting—and skills are consolidated repeatedly to enhance the likelihood of their effective use in clinical practice. Each technique and its use in the CASE Approach is practiced in groups of four, coached by the trainer(s) and fellow participants (maximum of 28 participants). Completion of the one-day training results in a Level 1 Certification in the CASE Approach.

Scripted Group Role-Playing (SGRP) was developed over the past decade by borrowing educational techniques from Allen Ivey’s microtraining, as well as macrotraining developed by Shea. As the SGRP training evolved, feedback was garnered from participants to enhance the model. The result is a concise, fast-paced, and uniquely enjoyable role-playing experience.

Program Objectives

At the end of the training, CASE Approach training participants will:

  1. Understand the importance and complexities of uncovering suicidal ideation, planning, behavior, and intent, including the concept of the equation of suicidal intent.
  2. Understand and be able to demonstrate each of the seven validity enhancing interviewing techniques used in the CASE Approach.
  3. Understand and be able to demonstrate the sequential and flexible use of these techniques in various strategies utilized in the CASE Approach.

Implementation Essentials

  • A trainer from the Training Institute for Suicide Assessment and Clinical Interviewing (TISA) is required

2012 NSSP Objectives Addressed: 

Objective 7.2: Provide training to mental health and substance abuse providers on the recognition, assessment, and management of at-risk behavior, and the delivery of effective clinical care for people with suicide risk.

Objective 9.1: Adopt, disseminate, and implement guidelines for the assessment of suicide risk among persons receiving care in all settings.