Saturday, June 25, 2011

Book update

A part from an interview I did on the book

Interview on the book - Working with suicidal individuals.

Question - Does your own suicide experience have something to do with your interest in this topic? And why did you decide to incorporate information about it in this book?

Answer - In answer to your question, probably. My own suicidal experiences in adolescence would have something to do with my interest in the topic but it’s not something I have ever consciously thought about. I have no desire to have some sort of crusade or campaign to stop adolescent suicide.

Working in the field of psychology one comes across suicidal people quite regularly. Whilst I probably have a personal interest in the topic, when working as a psychologist it is wise to be well informed on the topic of suicide anyway. Hence I have specialised in the area over my years of practice.

Since writing the book were I refer to my two suicide attempts as a teenager I have had colleagues tell me how brave I am to make such a public disclosure and they would never tell of theirs. I have been surprised at the number of colleagues who have made suicide attempts or been very close to acting on their suicidal urges at some point in their life.

I have experiences in my life that I would keep private but this is not one of them. I see no difficulty in disclosing such a thing. I have never had anyone tell me they look down on me for it or because I did that it should disqualify me from being a psychologist. I suppose some may think but there is not much I can do about that.

I think it provides me with a unique insight into the psyche of the suicidal adolescent and makes me more qualified to work with such young people. Which is what I have done and I have endeavoured to pass that insight onto others though the book.


Latest review from a very experienced and ‘decorated’ social worker who has practised well over 30 years in a wide variety of mental health areas.

Tony White   Working with Suicidal  Individuals
A Guide to Providing Understanding, Assessment and Support.
I have read Rosemary Napper and Dr. Jan Hennig's reviews of Tony's book and agree with all that they say.   I would however like to add a few comments of my own after recently finishing the book.
My approach was three-fold: 
1. What don't I know
2. What is it like for those new to the subject
3. My opinion of the total work.
When I began my training in clinical TA Tony had just qualified as a TA clinician, and I remember being amused  and fascinated by the way that he then proceeded to examine every facet of the theory from every last perspective.   Some 30 years later, having read this book, I rejoice that he has brought the same scrutiny and rigour to his subject.   His work is a valuable and much-needed text book or guide to this very dense and complicated field.   It is comprehensive yet easily digestible:  essential qualities that are, unfortunately, all too rare in many similar works.    His aim:  "to add to the field in the assessment, management and understanding of the suicidal person" has been admirably achieved.
One of the things that struck me as I read was how well the TA structure of personality and the system of transactions lend themselves to the whole field of suicidal individuals, and Tony defines and describes them so clearly in Chapter 3.
Secondly, reading Chapter 4 The Suicide Decision, really brought home to me the secret of Tony's success from my perspective:  Eric Berne, the author of TA taught us:  "If a seven-year-old can't understand it, don't say it !"  Tony's description of the early decision uses clear, simple, understandable language and a step-by-step style, which totally facilitates the understanding and grasp of this complex subject.   In toto, we take a fascinating walk through the facts rather that drowning in facts, figures and technical language.   The same essential skills are demonstrated in Chapter 6 - Reactions to High Stress where the coverage is very clear and wonderfully complete - eg. self-harming techniques v. suicide - never too nit-picking and boring but systematically and interestingly described.   I rejoice.
Other aspects of the book that I find worthy of note are:
1.  pp.119-124 (Suicide and prisoners)   I appreciate the care given to examining the prison population and the respect with which the author approached them.
2.  The clarity of the many charts and diagrams eg, p.128 (the cycles of depression).
3. The emphasis given to the times of severity and recovery, which would be surprising and important for newcomers to the field. p.131 (Recovery from depression)
4.  pp194-96  I was very proud of Tony's courage in using plain speaking, and his very empathic and humane approach to explaining and promoting understanding of the causes of pseudo suicide.   I see this as a tacit invitation to others to drop their prejudices and adopt a similar perspective.
5.  pp211-12  working with suicidal ambivalence.   The considerable amount of detail with FC and AC which is so very necessary was excellent, and again so clear....; made me sing !!!
6.  Suicide Time Lines Ch.13 - are not very often seen as important - good to see them here.   Tony gets another star for thoroughness !
7.  Redecision Therapy Ch/15 - great to see this splendid technique described in such detail- the most thorough and effective that I have found, especially for this life and death issue.
Tony, Eric Berne would be proud of you.   This is a splendid book, perfect for newcomers as well as for those long in the field.   As I read I began to smile:  you have taught us all to do the great detective work required for these people.   I hereby christen you the Poirot of Psychotherapy - a Detective  Extraordinaire!!!

Hugged by words

The book has now been out 6 months and can be found in many academic and university libraries. And these are only the ones that I have found.

Additions of note have been in Canada and some recent quite prestigious universities like:
University of California San Diego (USA)
University of Western Australia (Aust)
National University of Singapore (Singapore)

It seems a book based on the Transactional Analysis theory of suicide is being used in such university programmes as social work, nursing, medicine, psychology, psychotherapy and counselling.

University of Western Australia (Aust)
Victoria University (Aust)
Charles Sturt University (Aust)
Curtin University (Aust)
Australian Catholic University (Aust)
Bond University (Aust)
University of Melbourne (Aust)
James Cook University (Aust)
National Library of Australia (Aust)
Maribor General Hospital Library (Slovenia)
Stellenbosch University Library (South Africa)
Mitt hogskolan library (Sweden)
Stockholm University (Sweden)
PJ Library (Norway)
University of Cambridge (UK)
Oxford University library (UK)
Coventry City Council library (UK)
Bromley Library service (UK)
Cadbury Heath Library (UK)
Kingswood Library (UK)
Yate Library (UK)
British Library (UK)
Hounslow Library (UK)
Barnet London Borough Library (UK)
National library of Scotland (Scotland)
Executive Counseling and Training Academy (Singapore)
Ngee Ann Polytechnic Library(Singapore)
Singapore Polytechnic Library (Singapore)
National University of Singapore (Singapore)
University of California San Diego (USA)
Marquette University Raynor Memorial Library (USA)
University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA)
National Library of Medicine Maryland (USA)
Loyola Marymount University California (USA)
University of Michigan (USA)
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (USA)
University of Missouri-Columbia (USA)
Akron-Summit County Public Library, Ohio (USA)
University of California Merced (USA)
University of North Carolina Greensboro (USA)
Library of congress (USA)
University of California San Franisco (USA)
Mt. Hood Community College Library Oregon (USA)
National College of Natural Medicine Oregon (USA)
Oregon Health and Science University (USA)
Northeast WI Public Libraries (USA)
College of DuPage Illinois (USA)
Boston College (USA)
University of Chicago Illinois (USA)
University of North Texas (USA)
Laredo Public Library Texas (USA)
University of Texas-Pan American (USA)
University of Texas at Austin (USA)
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland)
University of Auckland Library (New Zealand)
Auckland University of Technology (New Zealand)
Eastern Institute of Technlogy (New Zealand)
University of Otago (New Zealand)
Rotorua District Library (New Zealand)
University of Waterloo (Canada)
Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada)
University of Guelph (Canada)
Library and Archives Canada (Canada)
City University of Hong Kong (China)

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