268. Coping with Suicidal Thoughts with Kathryn H. Gordon

Suicidal thoughts are a more common human experience than you may realize, and many lives are impacted by suicide. Often suicidal thoughts an indication that a person is in emotional pain, and there are tools that can help. Talking more openly about suicide can help to reduce stigma, and encourage people to reach out for support. 

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and this week we are grateful to have Dr. Katie Gordon, a suicide expert and author of The Suicidal Thoughts Workbook on the show. In this conversation, Katie shares practical ideas that will be helpful for people having suicidal thoughts, as well as their friends and family who want to support them. 

Listen and Learn:

  • How stigma about suicide can can get in the way of much-needed support, and why we at POTC think it’s important to talk more openly about suicidal thoughts.
  • Why people think about suicide
  • Ways to cope with suicidal thoughts and urges
  • The role of hope and hopelessness in suicidal thinking
  • The importance of belonging and meaning in suicide prevention
  • How to support a loved one who is thinking about suicide. 
  • About safety planning for a suicidal crisis


About Katie Gordon

Kathryn Hope Gordon, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist. She lives in the Boston area and specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Prior to working as a therapist, Gordon was a professor for ten years. She is a mental health researcher who has published more than 80 scientific articles and book chapters on suicidal behavior, disordered eating, and related topics. Her clinical scientist approach is informed by her graduate training at Florida State University, and her predoctoral internship at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She is the author of  The Suicidal Thoughts Workbook: CBT Skills to Reduce Emotional Pain, Increase Hope, and Prevent Suicide. Gordon cohosts the Psychodrama podcast, blogs for Psychology Today, and shares mental health information through her website: She writes a newsletter called Mental Health Minute, which you can subscribe to here. She is licensed in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and North Dakota and provides suicide prevention trainings to clinicians.

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Episode 268