Out of This World: Suicide Examined

Author(s) : Antonia Murphy

Out of This World: Suicide Examined

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : February 2017
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 156
  • Category :
    Individual Psychotherapy
  • Category 2 :
    Counselling
  • Catalogue No : 38989
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782204879
  • ISBN 10 : 1782204873

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This book is intended for anyone with either an interest in suicide or suicidal behaviour. It is not aimed solely at the professional psychotherapist but at a broad range of professionals who encounter suicidal people in their work. It is also intended for those of us who have been touched by suicide personally.

The book approaches suicide from the point of view of the suicidal state of mind and is intended to help us understand more about this condition. In its essence suicide is examined as a largely unconscious aggressive act having its roots in a perceived or real experience of thwarted childhood needs. The wounds of the suicidal person are often long held and deep. The suicidal person is pursued by haunting losses and the suicidal act comes from deep disturbance created by this and from the idea of death as an acting out of some form of suicidal fantasy. The quasi delusional and split quality of the act is examined - namely that suicide is both an act for and against the self. Consequently a strong case is made for the contribution of psychotherapy to the project of suicide prevention since it is in this carefully managed arena the suicidal fantasy can be examined and the settling of these scores can be worked through, rather than acted out by suicide.

The hope is that the book will increase understanding, challenge concepts of mental illness and suicidality but most importantly address the understandable fear we all have about suicide and its power to render us impotent. In turn it is hoped this will empower readers, who might otherwise be fearful of suicide, to intervene, support and work with those who are suicidal.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘This is the best book available for therapists on working with people who are contemplating suicide, or with those bereaved as a result of it. Suicide is explored from personal and societal angles in a manner that is honest, lucid, informative and deeply based in considerable clinical and training experience. The book is also an exceptionally frank testament to both the frighteningly insecure and the more reassuringly solid aspects of being human. I was moved, educated and challenged.’
- Andrew Samuels, former chair of the UK Council for Psychotherapy and author of A New Therapy for Politics?

‘Read this book. If it succeeds in making you feel less fearful and more curious about suicide, then it will have achieved its purpose. Clearly written and thought provoking, Antonia Murphy reminds us that suicide is not an illness, and through weaving together personal insight, professional experience, and a review of the writing on suicide, she gives us an accessible account of our current understanding of suicidal states of mind.’
- Jane Rosoman, consultant counsellor, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, Ealing

‘We met Antonia having set up a charity following the tragic, unexpected, and devastating death of our 21-year-old son James. James was a student at Newcastle University and we recognised how important it was to support the valuable training that Counsellors and Psychotherapists in Primary Care (CPC) were offering to university staff. Through Antonia’s own personal experience, her journey of working with the complex issue of suicide and subsequent wealth of knowledge gained, she has produced a book that will shed light onto this dark and difficult subject, and give the reader a much clearer understanding of it.’
- Clare Milford Haven, founder and trustee of the James Wentworth-Stanley Memorial Fund

About the Author(s)

Antonia Murphy is a registered UKCP intersubjective psychotherapist and supervisor, with over twenty-five years of clinical experience in the NHS, the third sector, and private practice. As well as her clinical work, Antonia managed the primary care counselling service in Derbyshire from 1998-2006, and was a founding director of Counsellors and Psychotherapists in Primary Care (CPC) and chair of the UKCP PCIP college training assessment committee until 2015. Her training portfolio includes course design and delivery of CPC’s multi-modality supervision training programme, and more recently she has developed her long-term clinical interest in working with suicide into a training which has been delivered to over forty universities and other settings. She is the former editor of the Journal for the Foundation of Psychotherapy and Counselling, an editorial board member of the Journal of Psychodynamic Practice, and co-author (with Joan Foster) of Psychological Therapies in Primary Car : Setting up a Managed Service.

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