Half in Love with Death: Managing the Chronically Suicidal Patient

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Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007 - Psychology - 224 pages
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Half in Love With Death presents a new way for therapists to manage chronically suicidal patients, an incredibly challenging task for clinicians and one where an insufficient amount of literature exists to guide professionals. Author Joel Paris suggests an approach that defies conventional wisdoms about whether suicide can be predicted or prevented. He asserts that managing chronically suicidal patients begins with tolerating suicidality, understanding the inner world of patients, avoiding repeated hospitalizations, and focusing on life situations that maintain suicidal ideas and behaviors.
 
Each chapter in the book develops a theoretical perspective based on empirical data, and many are illustrated by clinical examples. Topics addressed throughout the text include:
*distinctions among various types of suicidality;
*the inner world of the chronically suicidal patient, with a particular focus on pain, emptiness, and hopelessness;
*the relationship between chronic suicidality and personality disorders, especially the category of borderline personality;
*the effectiveness of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for chronically suicidal patients; and
*the risks of litigation in managing this patient population.
 
This volume is a crucially important resource for clinicians who treat chronically suicidal patients, as it fills a gap in existing literature and provides enlightened guidelines that stem from a large body of research in the field.

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About the author (2007)

Joel Paris was born in New York City, but has spent most of his life in Canada. He obtained an M.D. from McGill University in 1964, where he also trained in psychiatry. Dr. Paris has been a member of the McGill psychiatry department since 1972; since 1994, he has been full Professor, and was appointed as Department Chair in 1997. Dr. Paris has served as Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the McGill University Health Centre, and as a Research Associate at the SMBD-Jewish General Hospital. He has also been a practitioner and an educator. Dr. Paris has supervised psychiatric evaluation with residents for over 30 years, and won awards for his teaching
Dr. Paris' research interest is in personality disorders, and he is a Past President of the Association for Research on Personality Disorders. Over the last 20 years, he has been studying borderline personality disorder—its biological and psychosocial causes, as well as its long-term outcome. Dr. Paris has over 120 peer-reviewed articles, and is the author of eight previous books and 25 book chapters.

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