The fundamentals of the assessment of suicidal ideation are six validity techniques: 1) behavioral incidents, 2) shame attenuation, 3) gentle assumption, 4) symptom amplification, 5) denial of the specific, and 6) normalization. Clinical vignettes point out the importance of asking about specific behavioral incidents and such concrete behavioral facts or trains of thought as, "Exactly how many pills did you take?" or "When you placed the gun in your mouth, did you take the safety off?" and "In the past 2 weeks, have you had even a single thought of killing yourself, even for a fleeting moment?" Unfortunately, many interviewers focus on the patient’s feelings at the expense of information about behavior intrinsic to suicide. Also, symptom amplification questions, such as asking whether the patient ever drank a fifth or more of liquor or spends as much as 80% or 90% of the day thinking about suicide reveal the clinical facts about what has been happening.