Choosing to Live: How to Defeat Suicide
Through Cognitive Therapy
Thomas E. Ellis, Cory F. Newman
As a therapist who has lost a patient to suicide, and who treats many people who I often
fear will choose to die, and as a human being who has seen the aftermath of the suicide of
an extended family member, I wrote Choosing to Live with my colleague Tom Ellis in
the hope that we could reach out and help people to save their own lives. We do not take
this subject lightly, and we do not treat it casually. It's a very frightening topic.
But we want to acknowledge that many people at times feel suicidal, and it doesn't mean
they're crazy or hopeless -- just human and hurting. But death is not the answer. We can
only hope to solve our problems, and to gain some measure of joy, fulfillment, and meaning,
if we LIVE. When we are at our worst points in our lives, death can seem like an attractive
option. But most people who feel this way are really ambivalent. They do want to live, but
only if they can find some hope, and some relief from their pain. But how? Choosing To Live
is our attempt to show people "how." We offer many techniques, some philosophical views, and
an entire approach to dealing with depression that is based in the principles of cognitive-behavioral
therapy, one of the most well-researched and effective non-drug therapies that exists. You can use
this book if you feel deeply depressed, or if you know someone who you are worried about (because
there is an important section at the end that tells you "what to do" and "what not to do" if your
loved one is threatening suicide). If you do counseling, you can make use of the principles in
Choosing to Live to have a better handle on life and death situations with your clients.
Tom Ellis and I have put our best thoughts, our most cherished personal beliefs, our heart and
soul, and some of the best treatment principles that exist today in Choosing to Live. We hope
it will be a catalyst in helping people not only to live, but to thrive.