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Anorexia, Murder, and Suicide Paperback – 15 Oct 1997

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'This is a masterly work, a must read for every psychiatry trainee and every would-be psychotherapist. ... The reader feels privileged to know these people and inspired by their journeys. Herein lies the mystery.
Australia and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, V

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent - with two reservations 30 May 2000
By Paul Jerry - Published on
Format: Paperback
Malan's book is essentially three case studies (one on each of the disorders listed in the title). As usual, his writing is clear and he has an ability to turn complex psychodynamics into simple human issues.
With each section, Malan reviews current literature and discusses the therapeutic process as it applies to each case.
Of interest to anyone who has followed Malan's work over the years is that in some places in the book, he reports follow-up information on cases he originally described in 1979 in his "Individual Psychotherapy..." text.
My two reservations are as follows. Malan is writing in the UK, where the Tarasoff ruling holds much less sway than in North America. As a result, some of what Malan says about the legal/practice implications of managing homicide and suicide would not be considered standard practice "over here".
My second reservation has to do with the "murder" case. The patient has sexually motived homicidal fantasies, and throughout is managed on an outpatient basis. While this case works out, I would be very cautious about trying his methods of management with little clinical or forensic experience. Even with that experience, I am still left with some reservation about how that case worked itself out. (Should you read this case, I would be happy to discuss it and would be interested in hearing your views.)
In all, Malan remains one of the brightest stars in the applied psychoanalytic therapy field and fans of the extended case study will not be disappointed.
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