As a therapist, how do you know when a client is serious about ending their life?

Truthfully, I don’t know.

What I do know, however, is that most clients have suicidal inclinations at one point or another, and when they find the courage to talk about these it opens up a profoundly deep and potent area of exploration.

Through therapeutic inquiry, it’s usually discovered that it’s not themselves they want to kill, but rather, something else in their life has to die in order for something new to be reborn.

Death, in this context, refers to the ending of something other than our physical selves, for example, the shedding of a limiting belief or the relinquishment of an attachment or desire that is holding us back.

Death is a natural and creative power and goes hand in hand with (re)birth. Nothing in life can grow or renew itself without death.

The problem is, most of us don’t understand the birth/death/birth process and consequently, death becomes distorted into something to fear and avoid. It becomes the archetypal “bogeyman”.

It is our quashing down of this most vital of energies that induce suicidal thoughts, and as if under a “spell”, has us convinced that it is our physical reality (as opposed to our psychic reality) that is the source of the problem. But this is often a distortion. This is the ‘voice’ of the suppression that has been created in our denial of death.

When we come to understand the essential nature of death in helping us to grow, expand and evolve, our aversion to it will naturally dissolve. In its dissolution, no longer will our ignorance of this natural process be hijacked and misinterpreted into something more sinister.

It is only our misinterpretation that blocks the natural flow of energy and causes our evolutionary expansion to come to a grinding halt. Stuck in this empty desolate place between death and rebirth, we are neither alive nor dead. We are depressed.

When we give ourselves permission to make friends with death it no longer has power over us, but powers through us as pure creative energy.