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Clinical Conference: Jane Tillman, PhD The Effect of Patient Suicide on Clinicians

  • 12 Mar 2016
  • 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
  • New Haven Lawn Club


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

It is easy to pay online or you may register online and send us a check in the mail. Remember to log in to register as a member. Event details will be provided in your registration confirmation.

Jane Tillman, PhD

 The Effect of Patient Suicide on Clinicians

Approximately 50% of psychiatrists will have a patient die by suicide in the course of professional practice, while the estimate is somewhat lower for other mental health clinicians. Few clinicians are prepared for this sad outcome and often do not know what to expect in terms of common reactions, how to respond to colleagues, or how to work with transference and countertransference dynamics in response to other patients in treatment. Our training often does not even address the topic of patient suicide beyond basic assessment and risk management procedures. In this workshop/lecture we will talk about the range of reactions clinicians report having to the death of a patient by suicide and possible ways of coping with the aftermath. 

Jane Tillman, PhD, ABPP  is the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Director of the Erikson Institute for Education and Research at the Austen Riggs Center. A clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst she has research interests in the effect of patient suicide on clinicians, the intergenerational transmission of suicide, and also on understanding the states of mind preceding a near lethal suicide attempt. She often consults to therapists or organizations who have had a patient die by suicide.

Dr. Tillman is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center and a Clinical Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tillman serves on the Editorial Boards of Psychoanalytic Psychology, and The Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association


The New Haven Lawn Club

193 Whitney Ave, New Haven

Conference Schedule

10:00 – 10:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast

10:30 – 12:30 Presentation


The conference is appropriate for professionals interested in the practice of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. The instructional level of this conference is intermediate.

Educational Objectives

1. Evaluate the evidence base of the effect of patient  suicide on clinicians

2. Demonstrate knowledge of the short and long-term effects of suicide on clinicians

3. Discuss the response of colleagues to a clinician who has lost a patient to suicide

Recommended Readings

1.  Tillman, J. G. (2006). When a patient commits suicide: An empirical study of psychoanalytic clinicians. The International Journal Of Psychoanalysis, 87(1), 159-177

Click here for PDF copy: Tillman When A Patient Commits Suicide.pdf

2.   Brockman, R. (2012). Trauma and identity: A psychological autopsy. American Imago, 69(2), 265-275. doi:10.1353/aim.2012.0010

Click here for PDF copy: Brockman Trauma and Identity 2012.pdf

3.  Tillman, JG and Carter, AM. (2014). The trauma of patient suicide.  In: Deutsch, R. (Ed). Traumatic Ruptures: Abandonment and Betrayal in the Analytic Relationship.  London: Routledge Press.pp. 66-78.

Click here for PDF copy: Tillman and Carter Patient Suicide 2014.PDF

Continuing Education

This conference has been approved for 2 continuing education hours (NASW & Div. 39)

Division 39 is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities.

Participants are asked to be aware of needs for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. If participants have special needs, we will attempt to accommodate them.

Please address questions, concerns and any complaints to Ellen Nasper, PhD, at

Pay online or mail checks to Conference Registrar, Carrie Christensen, LCSW, 441 Orange St #5, New Haven, CT 06511

Members - remember to log in to register as a member.

Refunds will be given in full if the Conference Registrar, Carrie Christensen, LCSW, is contacted by Monday March 7, 2016.

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