Suicide: A Dying Shame: A Literature Review of the Therapeutic Relationship
The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the role that shame plays in suicidality. Shame is an emotion that is not easily communicated or identified and suicidal ideation is often taboo. Given that shame and suicide can both be hidden and silent, how does a psychotherapist work with clients who experience chronic shame and who are potentially suicidal? The case of Kurt Cobain is used as an illustrative example. A modified systematic literature review was the method used to ensure a thorough investigation of the psychological literature available on this topic. It was found that shame is present in many attempted and completed suicides. This dissertation raises the possibility of a fundamental connection between suicide and shame but further research is required, as other emotions were not reviewed for their connection with suicidality. Clinical implications are highlighted for the practicing psychotherapist.