Institutions & Clinics Family & Couple Therapy
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Suicide Attempts

Usually, a suicide attempt does not result from one reason, but rather a set of factors. Below we will describe the most common.

  1. Cry for help—Such a suicide attempt does not reflect the will to die, but is a call for help. The person wants others to notice how hard it is for him.
  2. Lack of self-esteem—The individual feels that his general environment, family members, and/or social environment relates to him as worthless. Such feelings can cause the person to feel that he truly is empty and worthless. In this situation, ordinary tasks become enormous obstacles, whereas others see the same tasks as small obstacles or challenges.
  3. Pressure—An individual may lack the emotional strength and ability to handle everyday pressures. Pressures can derive from monetary problems that seem insolvable, “failure” in school, at work, or in society.
  4. Desire for experiencing death—A person may want to experience death without dying, with/without the desire to frighten others.
  5. Guilt feelings—When a family member, significant other, or relative have committed suicide, guilt feelings may encourage a person to commit suicide and thus connect with the dead person, especially during difficult periods in life.
  6. Depression—In the first stages of recovering from depression, an individual is exposed to the temptation of suicide.


Usually, family members are deeply wounded by suicide attempts. They do not understand the individual’s distress, and react with anger or unwillingness to listen.

Targeted short-term family therapy can return the family member who attempted to commit suicide to a healthier life.

Goals of family therapy:

  1. To connect family members and ease their burden; to teach them to listen to each other and hear the individual’s pain; to decide together about methods of action, such as communicating with each other and being available for each other.
  2. To encourage the individual to change his behavior and thus shorten psychological treatment.
  3. In families in which the suicide attempt reflects difficulties in the family’s functioning, family therapy is vital in order to prevent development of emotional or functional problems in additional family members.


This therapy is not a substitute for psychological treatment of the individual who attempted suicide, but it can extend the effect of private treatment to the entire family, and sometimes help a family member to obtain psychological treatment.