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Psychology Distinguished Lecture, Dr. Rui Campos, University of Évora, Portugal

Friday, March 15, 2019
2:30 PM – 5:00 PM
School of Kinesiology and Health Studies
Room: Lecture: Kinesiology 101; Reception: University Club following lecture
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TALK: Taking a deeper look: Some considerations about the psychodynamics of suicide behaviours

ABSTRACT: In this theoretical presentation, I discuss a psychoanalytic-focused and personal understanding of suicidal behaviours, from the perspective that this view is incomplete and that suicidal behaviours are complex and difficult to understand and predict. I emphasize psychological pain in a general sense as a unifying element in the understanding of this phenomenon; psychological pain that leads to an experience of intolerability or that results from it. I will describe several elements that I regard as central to the understanding of suicidal behaviours in a psychodynamic perspective: a set of internal characteristics that can be put within the scope of a depressive functioning of personality; the denial of anxiety; the anguish of death; and impulsivity and acting-out as a form of denying or mitigating / “handling” psychological suffering. I formulate the question: “How can we solve an internal paradox: there seems to be a lack of psychological energy in depressive functioning, but at the same time a certain amount of energy is needed to commit suicide!?” Baechler described several different types of suicide, including playful and aggressive ones, and I will also attempt to discuss their psychological meaning.


Ron Holden/Meredith Chivers
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