1st Edition

Perspectives on a Young Woman's Suicide A Study of a Diary

Edited By John F. Gunn III, David Lester Copyright 2022
    190 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    190 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Perspectives on a Young Woman's Suicide is a unique and updated analysis of a diary left behind by "Katie," a young woman who took her own life.

    By drawing on clinicians, researchers, survivors of suicide loss, and those closest to Katie, this book delves into common beliefs about why people die by suicide and into the internal worlds of those who do, as well as ethical and moral questions surrounding those deaths. Several contributors discuss Katie’s suicide from the perspective of recent theories of suicide, including Joiner’s interpersonal theory and Klonsky’s three-step theory. Two contributors who have lost a child to suicide look at Katie’s diary from their perspective, one of whom discusses whether it is truly possible to prevent suicide. Finally, Katie’s sister reveals her reactions to this project and her ex-boyfriend shares his account of her death.

    This book is a vital addition to the library of any researcher, academic, or professional interested in suicide and suicide prevention.


    1. Introduction

    David Lester & John F. Gunn III

    2. Who is Katie?

    David Lester

    3. Katie’s Diary: The First Month



    4. The Complexity of Suicide: Exploring Katie’s Diary through a Bioecological Lens John F. Gunn III

    5. Katie from the Perspective of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide

    David Lester

    6. Using the Three-Step Theory of Suicide to Understand Katie’s Desire for Suicide

    E. David Klonsky and Oscar F. Cetnarowski

    7. Understanding Katie’s Experiences from The Perspective of the Integrated Motivation Volitional Model of Suicidal Behavior

    Tiago C. Zortea and Rory C. O’Connor

    8. Katie’s Implicit Life Plan for the End of Summer: How Implicit Prospection May Influence the Course of Events

    Dmitri I. Shustov, Olga D. Tuchina and Anastasia Borodkina

    9. What is the Meaning Katie? Katie’s Diaries Read through a Meaning-making Lens

    Birthe Loa Knizek and Heidi Hjelmeland

    10. A Safe Place for Katie: A Gestalt Therapy Perspective on her Suicidal Experience

    Karolina Krysinska, Jan Roubal, and Dave Mann

    11. Writing to Remain: Two Diaries from Young Women Who Wrote to Survive

    Linda Collins

    12. Why Are We So Bad at Preventing Suicide?

    Donna Holland Barnes


    13. From the Ashes of Suicide: A Life Repurposed

    Katie’s Sister

    14. What Happened During Katie’s Last Few Days: Mark’s Account

    15. Why Did Katie Die by Suicide?

    David Lester and John F. Gunn, III



    John F. Gunn III, is Assistant Professor of psychology at Gwynedd Mercy University, and has examined suicide in a number of contexts, most notably examining theories of suicide across different populations.

    David Lester, is Emeritus Professor of psychology at Stockton University, has published extensively on suicide, murder and other issues in thanatology, with over 50 books in the fields of suicide and thanatology.

    "Lester and Gunn have provided a brilliant set of new essays on Katie's diary. This is a stunning and diverse collection of international and interdisciplinary views on the diary of a woman who died by suicide. The new edition continues to suggest that any singular view is inadequate and needs to be supplemented by others in efforts to fully understand suicide." — Steven Stack, PhD, Wayne State University, director of the Center for Suicide Research

    "Highly recommended to all suicide researchers and students. Reading Katie’s diary is like having Katie speaking to you directly, especially about all the pains she was going through. Katie’s diary was carefully analyzed by prominent researchers in this field through various contemporary theoretical frameworks and concepts, which further illustrates the complexity of understanding the suicidal mind." — Bob Lew, PhD, Department of Social Psychology, faculty of Human Ecology, Putra University of Malaysia