THE PROCESS APPROACH
TO SUICIDAL BEHAVIOUR:
FUTURE DIRECTIONS IN
Kees van Heeringen
The chapters in Part II of this book have reviewed potential consequences of the process approach for the understanding, treatment and prevention of suicidal behaviour. As may become clear from these reviews, many questions still remain unanswered. In this chapter, implications of the psychobiological approach to the suicidal process will be addressed in terms of future directions in research, treatment and prevention. In particular, this chapter will address strategies for further study of the mechanisms which may underlie many forms of suicidal behaviour. It can be expected that knowledge of these mechanisms will contribute to the development of new approaches to treatment and prevention.
The description of these implications is based on the hypothetical psychobiological stress-diathesis model, as elaborated in Chapter 8. In short, according to this model the probability of occurrence of suicidal behaviour is determined by the interaction between (particular) stressful life events and a persistent predisposition or diathesis. This diathesis is hypothesized to consist of at least two components, which