Course Title: CE 10: Suicidal Behavior: Emerging Clinical, Neuropsychological, and Psychobiological Perspectives (Keilp)


Credit Hours: 1.5


Instructor(s) John Keilp


John G. Keilp, PhD Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Research Scientist New York State Psychiatric Association
CE Workshop # 10: Suicidal Behavior: Emerging Clinical, Neuropsychological, and Psychobiological Perspectives
Abstract & Learning Objectives: Suicide rates are increasing, but recent research on suicidal behavior is providing valuable insights into the ways in which our approaches to assessment and treatment might be improved. This workshop will review current and emerging research on suicidal behavior, from a clinical, neuropsychological, and psychobiological perspective. First, data will be presented on the relationship between depression severity itself and suicidal thinking, to illustrate that it is only specific symptoms of depression that are associated with the emergence of suicidal thoughts. This section will also review critical features of past suicidal behavior – medical lethality, method, and planning - that are relevant to understanding risk factors for suicidal behavior. Second, neuropsychological data will be presented to show how certain neurocognitive deficits and difficulties – on measures of cognitive control, memory, and decision-making - are associated with suicidal behavior, independent of other clinical risk factors. Third, recent advances in the treatment of suicide risk and suicidal behavior will be presented, particularly the role of safety planning interventions, and treatment with ketamine. Finally, implications for patient assessment and treatment practices will be discussed. Upon conclusion of this course, learners will be able to:
  • Discuss the relationship between depression severity and suicidal thinking, and the ways in which it can inform appropriate treatment monitoring
  • Describe the key neurocognitive deficits that have been associated with suicide attempt, as well as those that may differ depending on the characteristics of attempts
  • List the advantages and drawbacks to implementation of newer treatment approaches for suicidal behavior risk
  • Critique how assessment and treatment of individual patients may be affected by emerging knowledge about the nature of suicidal behavior
Speaker Biography: Dr. John Keilp is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology (in Psychiatry) at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a Research Scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Keilp obtained his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University. He completed a two-year internship in both adult and child Clinical Psychology at the Cornell University Medical Center, and a fellowship in Neuropsychology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Keilp’s research work has been funded by the National Institute for Mental Health, the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke, the Brain Behavior Research Foundation (formerly NARSAD), and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Keilp’s research focuses on the neurocognitive deficits associated with various psychiatric, infectious, and neurological disorders, with a major focus on the neurocognitive deficits associated with depressive disorders and their relationship to risk for suicidal behavior. He has over 100 publications in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Keilp published one of the first systematic studies of neurocognitive deficits in suicide attempters in 2001 in the American Journal of Psychiatry, as well as other studies of both clinical and psychobiological factors distinguishing those with suicide attempt histories. Dr. Keilp served as a contributor on the Army STARRS project, designing and piloting instruments for assessments of over 50,000 new Army recruits, He served as a neuropsychological consultant on the EMBARC project, a multisite study of predictors (including neurocognitive) of antidepressant treatment response, and has recently completed a multisite study examining developmental influences on neuropsychological risk factors for suicidal behavior across the adult lifespan.