Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Jan 27, 2020

An interview with Norine Vander Hooven, LCSW about assessing suicide appropriately for our clients from the beginning of treatment. Curt and Katie talk with Norine about what therapists often miss with their clients and how to treat suicidality when it comes up.

It’s time to reimagine therapy and what it means to be a therapist. We are human beings who can now present ourselves as whole people, with authenticity, purpose, and connection. Especially now, when therapists must develop a personal brand to market their practices.

To support you as a whole person and a therapist, your hosts, Curt Widhalm and Katie Vernoy talk about how to approach the role of therapist in the modern age.

Interview with Norine Vander Hooven, LCSW

Norine Vander Hooven is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has been in practice for 32 years. She specializes in trauma, anxiety, suicide prevention, and life transitions. Norine is also certified in EMDR therapy, and is in training to be an EMDR therapy consultant. She uses this to work with people with PTSD, anxiety, and traumatic life events. Norine provides clinical consultation for therapists, as well as she works with young adults and adults in her private practice. Learn more at

In this episode we talk about:

  • Norine’s story and how she entered into suicidology
  • How to appropriately assess for Suicide Risk from the beginning of treatment
  • What needs to be asked in your intake
  • The fear that therapists have in deeply looking at suicide with clients
  • The importance of exploring traumas from birth for clients
  • Why “die by suicide” is so much better than “committed” suicide
  • What #notsix means (how many people are actually affected by a single suicide)
  • Risk factors for suicidality: lack of belonging, feeling of being a burden, capability
  • What therapists often miss when assessing for suicide
  • The need to understand the client’s perception of the level of crisis around suicidality
  • Old school assessments and safety contracts that are not useful, and what to use instead
  • Who is most at risk for suicidal thoughts
  • What to consider in assessing for suicidality with clients who don’t appear to be at risk
  • Different types of suicidal thoughts
  • Searching for hope and forward thinking in life
  • Types of treatment modalities to address all types of suicidal thoughts
  • How to successfully assess, safety plan, and address suicide head on

Our Generous Sponsor: Lisa Marie Accounting

At Lisa Marie Accounting we know that an owner who understands her finances takes control over her business and her destiny! Lisa’s job is to help you get your numbers feeling Sassy, Sexy and a whole lot badassy! Because when you know and LOVE your numbers, everything you do is informed, calculated and creates unbridled success.

With a constant — but sassy — eye on “budgeting,” growth, income and outgo… plus a heavy dose of mindset upleveling around finances, abundance, pricing and growth… members of Freedom Financial Monthly are financially empowered.

They know where their business money is going. They have a plan — and the profit — to grow. They are overly dependent on no-one (including that needy client) for their income and stand tall on their own two financial feet. When the tax man comes around… they’re prepared for taxes and may be “irritated” but they’re not shocked, panicked and scrambling for how to pay Uncle Sam.

Freedom Financial Monthly is an online membership for women entrepreneurs who are ready to grow not only their business, but their income, their sense of peace around finances and confidence around cash. 

 Just for Therapy Reimagined listeners, register today using code Therapy Reimagined and get your membership at Founding Member pricing! For all the Sassy details visit Lisa at


Relevant Resources:

We’ve pulled together any resources mentioned in this episode and put together some handy-dandy links:

Contact Norine on her website at:

Resources on Norine’s website:

American Association of Suicidology - Extensive resources and they also have a group for Clinicians who have lost clients or loved ones to suicide

Language Matters by Jonathan Singer

#notsix - research by Dr. Julie Cerel

Thomas Joiner, PhD: Interpersonal Factors for Suicidology


NY Times Article - Stacey Freedenthal

Helping the Suicidal Person - Stacey Freedenthal

Dese’rae Stage’s Website Live Through This - stories of suicide attempt survivors

Dr. Bart Andrews Story on Live Through This


Relevant Episodes:

When Clients Die


Connect with us:

The Modern Therapists Group on Facebook

Get Notified About Therapy Reimagined 2020 (and TR2019 Virtual Conference)

Who we are:

Curt Widhalm is in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is the cofounder of the Therapy Reimagined conference, the CFO of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University, a former Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more at:

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant supporting leaders, visionaries, executives, and helping professionals to create sustainable careers. Katie, with Curt, has developed workshops and a conference, Therapy Reimagined, to support therapists navigating through the modern challenges of this profession. Katie is also President of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more at:

A Quick Note:

Our opinions are our own. We are only speaking for ourselves – except when we speak for each other, or over each other. We’re working on it.

Our guests are also only speaking for themselves and have their own opinions. We aren’t trying to take their voice, and no one speaks for us either. Mostly because they don’t want to, but hey.

Stay in Touch:


Voice Over by DW McCann

Music by Crystal Grooms Mangano