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The line that separates those who kill from those who only think about it, and from those who injure themselves, is often thinner than we imagine. Convicted murderers serving life-sentences in England are among the subjects of this in-depth psychological study of what makes people kill.
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Paul Williams is a training and supervising analyst with The British Psychoanalytical Society and a member of the Royal Anthropological Institute. He was a consultant psychotherapist in the British National Health Service, retiring in 2010. From 2001-2007 he was Joint Editor-in-Chief, with Glen O. Gabbard, of the 'International Journal of Psychoanalysis'. He has published widely on the subject of severe disturbance. He lives and practises in Hampshire, UK.Review:
'This book addresses some of the most destructive elements of human behaviour, whether manifested in intra-psychic struggle, inter personal acting out or societal madness. It is based on Arthur Hyatt Williams' lifetime of experience working in this field as a psychoanalyst. It weaves together a great richness of clinical and institutional material with a depth of psychoanalytic understanding, and is essential reading for anyone working in this field, or concerned with such phenomena in our society.'- Dr Anton Obholzer, Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst, and Chief Executive, Tavistock and Portman Clinics'Arthur Hyatt Williams' book on restoring the balance between life and death brings continual surprise that anyone can write so beautifully about humanity's blackest features. His love of life is evident as he explores the death constellation - the encapsulated mental structure that attacks life - in its protean manifestations, everywhere challenging our compassion. He explores its symbolic and mediated forms throughout human experience, and clearly describes conditions in which it is likely to be enacted in homicide or suicide.'Hyatt Williams tells compelling tales of his unique experience treating murderers and criminals by drawing equally on poetry and science. This book stands alone as the contemporary masterpiece on treating murderousness, not only in the actual murderer but, more importantly, in the larger group of patients who need our help in their struggle to contain destructiveness. It will be invaluable to all who which to understand and treat patients who struggle with the darkness in their hearts.'- David Scharff, MD, Co-Director, International Institute of Object Relations Therapy
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