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Group leader: Anja Gysin-Maillart 


Konrad Michel

Juliane Brüdern

Simon Schwab

Sebastian Walther



In a traditional medical model clinical suicide prevention is focused on the treatment of associated psychiatric disorders. However, although psychiatric diagnoses are major risk factors for suicide, prevention projects aimed at improving detection and treatment of psychiatric disorders have a limited potential to reduce suicidal behaviour. In contrast to the medical approach to suicidality we have developed a patient-centred treatment model, based on the theory of goal-directed action. Within this theoretical frame the therapeutic approach is aimed at establishing a therapeutic alliance, starting with the patients’ self-narrative of the suicidal crisis. Suicidal behaviour is understood as triggered by adverse experiences, which seriously threaten a person’s major life-goals. Our research is aimed at a better understanding of the psychology of the suicidal mind, including psychological pain, coping strategies, and neuropsychological mechanisms. The ultimate aim is to translate these patient-oriented insights into better and more effective treatments for suicidal patients.

Research Interests:

  • Clinical Suicide Prevention
  • ASSIP (Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program)
  • Psychotherapy Research
  • Neuropsychology


Recent publications:

Michel, K., Valach, L., Gysin-Maillart, A. (2017). A Novel Therapy for People Who Attempt Suicide and Why We Need New Models of Suicide. Concept Paper. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 14(3), 243; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030243.

Gysin-Maillart, A., Schwab, S., Soravia, L. M., Megert, M., & Michel, K. (2016). A novel brief therapy for patients who attempt suicide: a 24-months follow-up randomized controlled study of the Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program (ASSIP). PLoS Medicine 13(3):e1001968. 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001968.

Gysin-Maillart, A., Soravia, L. M., Gemperli, A., & Michel, K. (2016). Suicide Ideation is Related to Therapeutic Alliance in a Brief Therapy for Attempted Suicide. Archives of Suicide Research. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2016.1162242.

Brüdern, J., Berger, T., Casper, F., Gysin-Maillart, A., & Michel, K. (2016). The Role of Self-Organization in the Suicidal Process. Psychological Report, 118(2): 668-85. doi: 10.1177/0033294116633351.

Brüdern, J., Berger, T., Michel, K., Gysin-Maillart, A., Schmutz, I., & Caspar, F. (2015). Are Suicide Attempters Wired Differently?: A Comparison With Nonsuicidal Depressed Individuals Using Plan Analysis. Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 203(7), 514-521. doi:10.1097/NMD.00000000000000321.

Kupferschmid, S., Gysin-Maillart, A., Bühler, S.K., Steffen, T., Michel, K., Schimmelmann, B. G., Reisch, T. (2013). Gender differences in methods of suicide attempts and prevalence of previous suicide attempts. Z Kinder Jugendpsychiatr Psychother. 41(6):401-415.

Publications: (in process):

Konrad Michel, selected publications