Half in Love With Death: Managing the Chronically Suicidal Patient, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Half in Love With Death

Managing the Chronically Suicidal Patient, 1st Edition

By Joel Paris


246 pages

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Paperback: 9780805860818
pub: 2006-06-21
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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.


“The management of suicide remains the almost evidence-free zone left in routine clinical practice. What so many people do when confronted by a suicidal patient is to throw evidence out of the window because of fear the patient will follow. Joel Paris reminds us, and we defi nitely need reminding, that most people who harm themselves do not eventually commit suicide, that self-mutilation is not suicidal behaviour, that ‘admission to hospital’ and a host of other quick fi xes are not the answers to problems that take time and care to control and resolve.”

—Peter Tyrer, FRCPsych, FRCP, FMedSci Professor of Community Psychiatry, Imperial College, London

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction. Suicidality and Suicide. The Inner World of the Chronically Suicidal Patient. Suicidality in Childhood and Adolescence. Chronic Suicidality and Personality Disorders. Myths of Suicide Prevention. Psychotherapy Research and Chronic Suicidality. Pharmacotherapy and Chronic Suicidality. Tolerating Chronic Suicidality. Managing Chronic Suicidality. Suicidality and Litigation. Summary: Guidelines for Therapists.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling