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The Suicidal Person

A New Look at a Human Phenomenon
Konrad Michel(Autor*in)
Columbia University Press
1. Auflage
Erschienen am 12. September 2023
375 Seiten
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978-0-231-55594-4 (ISBN)
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Konrad Michel, a leading psychiatrist and acclaimed expert, draws on decades of experience to offer necessary new ways of understanding-and preventing-suicide. After one of his first patients died by suicide, Michel devoted himself to researching self-harm. Writing vividly and personally, he recounts more than forty years of working with and learning from suicidal patients.

Michel shows that suicide is not just a consequence of mental illness but an action related to a person's life story. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with suicidal patients, he argues that suicide and suicide attempts occur when someone experiences extreme emotional pain that severely impairs the ability to think and act rationally. Based on this understanding, Michel and his colleagues developed a person-centered approach to treatment that overcomes the limitations of the traditional medical model. Through a brief therapy, patients find a personally meaningful narrative understanding of their suicidal thoughts and impulses. People at risk can learn to recognize their vulnerabilities in order to manage potentially life-threatening situations and keep themselves safe. Michel emphasizes the importance of communication: medical professionals need to connect with patients as individuals to identify specific warning signs.

Both compassionate and rigorous, this book provides vital insight into suicide prevention and shows how changing attitudes will help save lives. It includes practical advice for people at risk, with special emphasis on young people, as well as for relatives and health professionals.

Konrad Michel is a clinical psychiatrist and psychotherapist as well as professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Bern, Switzerland. He is a world-renowned expert in suicide prevention. Michel lost his twenty-year-old son to suicide.
1. Losing a Patient to Suicide and What It Means for a Young Doctor
2. First Lessons in Reducing Suicide
3. Emotional Stress Affects Brain Function
4. The Brain and Suicide
5. Problems of Communication in Medical Consultation
Box: Theories to Explain Suicide
6. Suicide Is Not an Illness
7. The Fragile Sense of Who We Are
8. Personal Vulnerabilities and Suicide
9. A Think Tank of Concerned Therapists
10. Translating Acquired Knowledge Into a New Therapy
11. Now What Does This All Mean for Suicide Prevention?
12. A Special Concern: Young People
13. For Health Professionals: It's About the Person in the Patient
Appendix 1. Suicide Is Not a Rational Action: ASSIP Handout for Patients
Appendix 2. Questionnaire: Learning Objectives
Appendix 3. What to Do If You Are Concerned About Someone
Appendix 4. Resources

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