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Last Words: Analysis of Suicide Notes from an RECBT Perspective: An Exploratory Study

  • Drew Coster
  • David LesterEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

A sample of 86 suicide notes was analyzed to identify the common cognitive and emotional themes contained in the text from a rational-emotive and cognitive behavior therapy (RECBT) perspective. Using grounded theory and statistical analysis to examine the data, this study found that the most frequent emotional categories to be present in these suicide notes are autonomous depression, sociotropic depression, guilt, shame, hurt and anger. It was also discovered that men, more than women, are likely to write about their experience of guilt in their suicide notes at the end of a relationship, while women are more likely to express feelings of hurt. This study may enable RECBT practitioners to better understand the cognitive and emotional factors of suicide behavior, and it may encourage future research into more specific suicide prevention protocols.

Keywords

Suicide notes Rational-emotive therapy Depression Guilt Shame Anger 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Riachard Stockton College of New JerseyGallowayUSA
  2. 2.Goldsmiths, University of LondonNew CrossUK

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