$$News and Reports$$

Dec. 27, 2015

Self-criticism is a personality virus of sorts, implicated in almost any mental disorder imaginable, and also in several physical conditions such as chronic fatigue and chronic pain. In fact, self-criticism may be lethal: It is implicated in suicidal ideation and attempts. These are the conclusions of a new book authored by Prof. Golan Shahar from BGU's Department of Psychology and published by Oxford University Press. 

The book, titled "Erosion: The Psychopathology of Self-Criticism" summarizes two decades of scholarship – empirical and theoretical research and clinical work – conducted by Prof. Shahar, who is a clinical-health psychologist in Israel. Shahar also serves as Visiting Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and as the Chief Editor of the Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, published by the American Psychological Association (APA) 

Prof. Shahar identifies the mechanisms through which self-criticism confers vulnerability to psychopathology. Self-criticism, he argues, propels people to get involved in stressful events such as rejections by others, relationship breakups, and failures, to avoid engaging in positive life experiences and to negate support from others. This, in turn, leaves people depressed, anxious, suffering from other symptoms, and becoming suicidal. Shahar offers a novel theory of how self-criticism comes about in individuals, families, and societies, and provides guidelines for an integrative and comprehensive psychotherapy with self-critical adolescents and young adults. 

Prof. Shahar has dedicated the book to the memory of his Yale Mentor, Prof. Sidney J. Blatt, one of the greatest clinical psychologists of our time. By way of further commemorating Prof. Blatt, Prof. Shahar is organizing the Sidney J. Blatt Symposium on Depression and Suicidality, to be held on January 6th at BGU. This one-day symposium will feature a talk by Prof. Shahar presenting Blatt's monumental contribution and linking it to Shahar's own work.  

A special "Sidney Blatt Memorial Lecture" will be delivered by Prof. Thomas Joiner from Florida State University. Joiner, arguably the leading person in suicide research, will present his own theories and studies, linking them to Blatt's work. The symposium will culminate with leading Israeli experts discussing their view of the way depression and suicidality should be treated.

Symposium Details and Registration