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Developmental and Psychosocial Aspects of Suicide: Treating Patients and Understanding Survivors
The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child  (IF0.089),  Pub Date : 2018-01-01, DOI: 10.1080/00797308.2018.1427940
Jane G. Tillman

ABSTRACT This paper introduces the special section on suicide, reviewing papers written by researchers and clinicians who have considerable experience working with suicidal adolescents and adults. Using a developmental framework for understanding the suicidal individual and embedding individual dynamics in a social context allows for a more complex and nuanced view of the suicide process than large data can provide. Three of the papers are written by individuals who work within hospital contexts, conducting research or treating patients who have suicidal ideation, have made attempts, or who have eventually gone on to complete suicide. Issues of attachment, mentalization, identity, sexuality, family relationships, communities, and larger social systems interact to produce a complex dynamic picture of the suicidal process. Clinical work with such patients benefits from psychoanalytic theory, but often requires modification of technique based on the setting of treatment, the needs of adolescent and young adult patients, and the importance of involving families and other systems of care in the treatment. This group of papers addresses these aspects of care from a variety of psychodynamic approaches.