Integrating one’s suicidality

This photograph is not a good solution to seek and in fact you cannot do it.  It comes from a  suicide prevention site called #suicideawareness

Suicide awareness

Clients sometimes say they want to ’get rid of this part of myself’, or they ‘dislike that part and they want it to die’.  This cannot be done as one cannot get rid of part of self.

To attempt to do so just makes the problem worse. For example, with suicide the idea of the suicidal ambivalence clearly shows the two parts. According to the photograph one would seek to kill the AC. Again this cannot be done or at least I am not aware of how anyone can kill a part of the personality.

Suicidal ambivalence diagram Jpeg

Indeed I would suggest the opposite. Do not try and kill the Adapted Child (AC), instead one seeks to love it or develop a positive relationship with it. To attempt to rid self of it or kill it will simply isolate it in the personality and then it will lurk in the background and just make problems. One is meant to integrate the parts of their personality, especially those parts of self that one does not like, which of course is hard to do because it means you must accept a disliked part of self as self and embrace it (take it in as part of you).  If you do not do this then it remains unintegrated and often unconscious in varying degrees and it just creates problems in ones relationships.

For example if one does not like their anger they may keep their anger unintegrated in the personality. This means the anger lurks in the background out of awareness and comes out at unwanted times and in unwanted ways. For example the passive aggressive person often has unintegrated anger. They dislike their anger, so they reject it, but it keeps coming back in their communications with others in a passive form. This allows the person to express their unintegrated anger whilst still believing they are not angry because it does not come out as direct anger.


A much better solution, which I describe more fully in the new book – Transactional Analysis in Contemporary Psychotherapy – is to embrace the suicidal part of self. Get to know it and ‘love’ it or form a relationship with it, that is, integrate it. Then it will be far less likely to cause problems in the future and tends to be pacified.

To follow the advice of #suicideawareness in this way, in my view is a most unwise idea, but unfortunately not an uncommon one sees proposed. Indeed another example could be closing the suicide escape hatch, for some this just makes the problem worse as the suicidal part remains unintegrated in the personality.

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2 Responses to “Integrating one’s suicidality”

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  1. Alana says:

    thanks Tony for this article. Nice reminder to accept all parts and behaviours, not try to stop or turn your back on yourself. Loving your complete self really is the answer. You helped me today, so thank you xx

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