Psychotherapeutic interventions targeting suicidal thoughts and behaviors are essential for reducing suicide attempts and deaths by suicide. To determine whether specific psychotherapies are efficacious in preventing suicide and suicide-related behaviors, it is necessary to rigorously evaluate therapies using RCTs. To date, a number of RCTs have demonstrated efficacy for several interventions focused on preventing suicide attempts and reducing suicidal ideation. Although these studies have contributed greatly to the understanding of treatment for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, the extant literature is hampered by a number of gaps and methodologic limitations. Thus, further research employing increased methodologic rigor is needed to improve psychotherapeutic suicide prevention efforts. The aims of this paper are to briefly review the state of the science for psychotherapeutic interventions for suicide prevention, discuss gaps and methodologic limitations of the extant literature, and suggest next steps for improving future studies.
Copyright © 2014 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.