Talking with Suicide 

Talking with Suicide (TwS) utilises Dissociachotic framework: 


The experience of animation and giving life to being at variance of companionship to self in order for the survival of self in relationship to interpersonal threat from other (Ball & Picot, in press). 


The potential to support a person to express and describe the phenomenology of suicide as it manifests in the body. Recognising the potential for suicide to be experienced somatically, TwS supports the individual to give description to the somatic experience before engaging with the ‘entity’ in a curious and compassionate encounter.  This process can be of value in supporting a person to feel less saturated and oppressed. 


Talking with Suicide (TwS) has been informed by the Talking with Voices (TwV) approach (Corstens et al, 2012) and the Dissociachotic framework (Ball, 2018; Ball & Picot, in press; Raeburn & Ball, 2020).  TwS also draws on the knowledge of the mechanism of action of psychedelic drugs that create a greater availability of conscious awareness. Referred to by Humphrey Osmond as ‘mind manifesting’ of increased awareness (Tanne, 2004). TwS utilises the understanding of psychedelic experiences but does not include the use of psychedelic substances. 


TwS is an approach that seeks to support a person to understand more deeply the purpose or meaning that is being expressed in a suicide experience.  

If the person chooses, the process can evolve to inviting the ‘suicide’ to leave the body, at which point the process of TwS can occur in much the same way as TwV. This process includes significant and compassionate preparation with the person.  


The ritual and process of the approach is vital to support safe and nurturing conditions.  TwS can support increased understanding of how a person has arrived at the experience of suicide and create opportunities for new ways to formulate making sense of the origins of the suicidal experiences. TwV (Corstens, Longden, & May, 2012) provides a structure and background theory that has been adapted for the facilitation of TwS. A primary extension of the TwS approach is applying the Dissociachotic framework to understand how a person responds to the threat in human relationship and adapts when the environment of threat is replaced with safety towards healing. 


It should be noted that for some individuals, the process of identifying and exploring the somatic presentation of suicide is of value but may not be a preferred process for the others.