Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work Clinical Book Discussion Program
Yes And: Grief and Laughter Can Coexist After Suicide
Book Title: Tragedy + Time: A Tragi-comic Memoir
Author: Adam Cayton-Holland
Date: February 19th, 2023
Time: 11:00am – 2:00pm || 3 CEUS awarded for attending the entire meeting. 1 hr. Suicide Prevention credit included.
Book description: Meet the Magnificent Cayton-Hollands, a trio of brilliant, acerbic teenagers who were going to change the world. Anna, Adam, and Lydia were taught by their father, a civil rights lawyer, and mother, an investigative journalist, to recognize injustice and have their hearts open to the universe—the good, the bad, and the heartbreaking. Adam chose to meet life’s tough breaks and cruel realities with stand-up comedy; his older sister, Anna, chose law; while their youngest sister, Lydia, struggled to find her place in the world. Beautiful and whip-smart, Lydia was extremely sensitive, fiercely stubborn, and always haunted.
When Adam sunk into a deep depression in college, it was Lydia who was able to reach him and pull him out of it. Years later, as Adam’s career took off, Lydia’s depression engulfed her. She bounced from one “shrink” to the next, experimenting with medications and isolating herself to protect the family. Initially hospitalized for an “accidental” overdose, she took her own life just a few months later.
Devastated, Adam wrestles with guilt over the fine line between optimism and denial. He struggles to live with memories of finding Lydia’s body and spirals into alcohol abuse and rage until the possibility of wounding his family a second time with the same tragedy leads him to EMDR therapy. With a renewed sense of purpose and professional support, Adam finds healing in sharing his—and Lydia’s—story with others who may feel lost in the tragi-comic wilderness of life.
Tragedy + Time is a Goodreads Choice award nominee, recommended for stimulating discussion about grief and suicide. The author brings honesty and levity to the complicated process of coming to terms with a loved one’s death by suicide. The richness of his sister’s character illuminates subtle risk factors for taking once own life, while Adam’s own experience highlights strategies to reduce the risk of secondary suicide.
Clinical Goal of this program: Identify risk factors for completing suicide and evaluate strategies for coping with the loss of a loved one to suicide.
- Compare the author’s sister to the demographics of those who complete suicide and describe 2 factors that may have predicted her risk of suicide.
- Evaluate the helpfulness of 3 strategies the author used to cope with his sister’s suicide.
- Analyze the healing nature of humor. What qualities and dynamics support “healthy” humor?
Leslie Stickler, MSS, LCSW (she & they) is a Behavioral Health Consultant at Project HOME’s Stephen Klein Wellness Center and a therapist in private practice. Leslie is passionate about helping folx heal from trauma, reconnect to the wisdom of our bodies, and build more authentic & fulfilling relationships. She has served on the board of PSCSW since 2019, first as Agency Practice Subcommittee Coordinator and currently as a Member-at-Large. They live in Philadelphia with their partner and a cat named Loaf.
Attendees are required to have read the book.
This event is open to PSCSW members only; participants who attend this program must be present for its entirety in order to get continuing education credits.
Cancellation Policy: There is a $5 non-refundable administrative fee for any cancellation up to 48 hours prior to this program. No refund will be issued if less than 48 hours’ notice is given for this program.
Continuing Education Credits:
FOR PENNSYLVANIA SOCIAL WORKERS, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPISTS, AND PROFESSIONAL COUNSELORS: This program is approved for credits for professional workshops sponsored by the Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Work, a state affiliate of the Clinical Social Work Association listed in Section 47.36 of Title 49, Chapter 47 of the PA Code, State Board of Social Work Examiners. This program is also approved for 3 credits for professional workshops for marriage & family therapists (Section 48.36) and professional counselors (Section 49.36).
FOR NEW JERSEY SOCIAL WORKERS: This program is approved for 3 clinical credits. Attendance at programs or courses given at state and national social work association conferences, where the criteria for membership is an academic degree in social work, are a valid source of continuing education clinical credit (N.J.A.C. 13:44G-6.4(c)4).
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February 19, 2023
11:00 am - 2:00 pm