Suicidal Behavior, Science, & Mixed Martial Arts with Dr. David Klonsky

Dr. David Klonsky is a clinical psychology professor who conducts research on suicidal behavior, personality, emotion, and assessment. He developed the three-step theory, which is an important and parsimonious theory of suicidal behavior. David also conducted foundational work on the functions of nonsuicidal self-injury. After discussing suicidal behavior research, we shifted the conversation to open science and criticism of National Institute of Mental Health grant funding priorities. Then, we talked about mixed martial arts – both our own experiences and David’s work consulting with athletes competing in combat sports. We concluded with thoughts about why Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Star Wars are so good. This episode was SO much fun to make, and we hope you enjoy listening to it!

Show Notes

Suicide Research

You can follow Dr. David Klonsky on Twitter and check out his lab’s research on Google Scholar. For example, I recommend:

Ideation-to-Action Theories of Suicide: A Conceptual and Empirical Update

The Role of Theory for Understanding and Preventing Suicide (But Not Predicting It): A Commentary on Hjelmeland and Knizek

On the episode, I mentioned that I wrote a blog post about the three-step theory and how I believe it can advance public discussion about suicide.

Mixed Martial Arts Media Appearances

You can also follow David’s MMA Twitter account.

5 Rounds: Psychology of MMA, Mark Bocek on Bendo vs. Thomson and More – Fight Network

Ronda Rousey’s Return at UFC 207 – Fight Network

Connor McGregor’s Winning Ways; Mentally Breaking Opponents – Fight Network

Suicide prevention information and resources are available here and you can learn more about nonsuicidal self-injury here.

Eating Disorders & Suicidal Behavior with Dr. April Smith

This episode is an interview with Dr. April Smith, an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology. First, Dr. Smith shared how she became interested in her current research areas. Next, we talked about potential explanations for elevated suicidal behavior rates among people with eating disorders. Dr. Smith shared how her lab has investigated underlying factors through the lens of the interpersonal theory of suicide. In addition, Dr. Smith is conducting intriguing research on interoception (a person’s ability to sense what’s going on in their body) and its connections to these mental health issues. Dr. Smith’s innovative, scientific approach was fascinating to hear about, and we hope you enjoy learning about it!

You can follow Jedi Counsel on Twitter and like us on Facebook. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on iTunes and tell your friends! Thank you!

For more information:

Check out Dr. Smith’s faculty webpage and lab website. You can also follow her lab on Facebook and Twitter.

Recent articles from Dr. Smith and collaborators include: a meta-analysis on disordered eating and suicidal behavior, an examination of shared risk factors, and a review of research on eating disorders and suicidality.

You can read about her grant on interoceptive deficits and suicidality here.

Here is the Fox et al. (2019) paper that compares self-harm intentions underlying eating disorder and nonsuicidal self-injury behaviors, and here is the paper testing the four-function model of self-harm with binge eating and purging.

You can learn more about eating disorders here and suicide prevention here.

Episode 120: The Science of Suicide Prevention with Dr. Tracy Witte

We spoke to Dr. Tracy Witte, an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, about her fascinating research on suicidal behavior. First, she told us about the interesting path that led her to clinical psychology. Next, she shared how openness to new opportunities led to important interdisciplinary work with different populations (e.g., military, LGBTQ+ veterinarians and students). Veterinary professionals have elevated suicide rates compared to the general population, and Dr. Witte’s work has shed light on potential ways to address this disparity. We concluded by talking about Dr. Witte’s intriguing research on the nature of suicidal behavior and how science can help us to save lives. We learned a lot making this episode, and we hope you enjoy listening to it!

You can follow Jedi Counsel on Twitter and like us on Facebook. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on iTunes and tell your friends! Thank you!

For more information:

Check out Dr. Witte’s faculty page and lab website.

Here’s a blog post about the taxometrics study on suicidal behavior by Dr. Witte and Dr. Holm-Denoma.

You can learn more about suicide prevention here.

Suicide theories discussed in this episode include the interpersonal theory of suicide and the three-step theory.

Learn more about lethal means safety for suicide prevention here and here.

Episode 114 – Mental Health Themes in A Star is Born

Heads Up From Your Friends at Jedi Counsel: This episode has lots of SPOILERS.

This week, we recorded a podcast episode after seeing A Star Is Born. We opened up with some fun facts about the movie and then chatted about our overall impressions of it. Next, we discussed the depictions of mental health issues including alcohol/substance use problems and suicidal behavior in the film. We reviewed the diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders and noted which ones were exhibited in the film. Then, we talked about suicidal behavior within the frameworks of the interpersonal theory of suicide and three-step theory of suicide. We concluded with encouragement to seek help if needed and to reach out to people who you’re worried about – there is hope. Please see below for links to more information about the topics in the show and thank you SO much for listening! You can follow Jedi Counsel on Twitter. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on iTunes and tell a friend! Thank you!

For More Information (in order of appearance rather than importance):

Fun Facts:

The movie included Anthony Ramos of Hamilton fame. He also appeared in this mini-musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda that was written for This American Life: 21 Chump Street.

Suicide Prevention Information & Resources:

USA Today Article on Suicide

Huffington Post Article on Suicide

Risk Factors for Suicide

Interpersonal Theory of Suicide

Three-Step Theory of Suicide

Warning Signs

How to Help Someone Who is Suicidal

Previous Episodes on Substance Use Disorders:

Episode 50: Substance Use-Related Myths with Dr. Keith Donohue

Episode 110: Discussing Addiction with Dr. Ted Bender