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Cordess, C. (1997). The Suicidal Adolescent. : Edited by Moses Laufer. Madison, CT: International Universities Press. 1995. Pp. 154.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 78:410-412.

(1997). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 78:410-412

The Suicidal Adolescent. : Edited by Moses Laufer. Madison, CT: International Universities Press. 1995. Pp. 154.

Review by:
Chrstopher Cordess

This book of eleven chapters by thirteen different authors—a panel discussion is included —combines papers written predominantly by staff of the Brent Adolescent Centre and Centre for Research into Adolescent Breakdown, London, with additions from a conference of the same title. The emphasis is on experience gained ‘hands on’, in day-to-day clinical work in this walk-in (ambulant) clinic, and is necessarily, and admirably, pragmatic. The service invites youngsters to come for ‘any reason’, so as to make initial contact with as many young people as possible ‘who [are], or could soon be, in serious trouble mentally’ (p. xiv). One such group ‘consists of adolescents who feel hopeless or who have attempted suicide’. This volume is focused upon how the clinic staff, consisting of psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, sets about its aims of helping this group and, specifically, of preventing suicide and self-harm. In summary, they do so by addressing the range of different routes which may lead to adolescents becoming suicidal, by improving—through improved psychodynamic understanding—the early recognition of danger signals, and—from the evidence of this book—by maintaining a clinical research orientation to their clinical practice.

One of the central and perennial questions in work with the adolescent is that of assessing the status, at any one time, of changing mental experience, behaviour and symptomatology.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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