I am an associate professor of psychology and a psychoanalyst – training analyst and supervisor of the Swedish Psychoanalytic Association – employed at the National Center of Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health at the Karolinska Institutet since 1997. My research interests cover psychological perspectives on suicide and suicide-nearness (or “suicidality”), and other severe psychopathology. The topic of my doctoral dissertation 1992, the psychological predicament of siblings of schizophrenic individuals, has continued to influence my interest in the tension in the human soul between constructive sides and creativity on the one hand and destructiveness on the other. Since then, I have published articles on anxiety and defense in suicidal states, on anti-Semitism, and on the history of psychoanalysis. In collaboration with a group of researchers in the Scandinavia and Finland I have also recently published an epidemiological study on suicide mortality in the Nordic countries.
Teaching has always been an interest. In addition to several years of work as scientific secretary of the Swedish Psychoanalytical Society, I have worked in its institute as a lecturer and supervisor for several generations of young psychoanalysts as well as chairperson of its admissions committee. At the Karolinska Institutet I have organized a master program in public health sciences with a focus on suicide prevention and mental health, and also, 2004-2005, acted as chair for the (then) new, Bologna-process adapted, two-year master program in public health sciences with different specialization. From 2000 to 2012 I led a doctoral level research course on evaluated interventions in suicide prevention. I am currently a member of the admissions committee for doctoral studies at LIME.
I am engaged in supervising three doctoral candidates in projects focusing on experiential and psychological dimensions of suicide prevention within psychiatry. Since my publication in 2006, Primo Levi´s loneliness: Psychoanalytic perspectives on suicide-nearness, I am also studying what I call “writers’ voices on suicide”.