Jane G. Tillman, Ph.D. is the Director of the Erikson Institute for Education and Research  at the Austen Riggs Center. She is a clinical psychologist and a psychoanalyst. Dr. Tillman has conducted several research studies about survivors of suicide, as well as states of mind preceding a near-lethal suicide attempt.
Abstract: Clinical and historical data confirm that suicide occurs in clusters within some families. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Ernest Hemingway, and Walker Percy all had many family members who completed suicide. These men were also preoccupied with the problem of suicide in their families, their lives and in their work In the past 15 years, large-scale twin and adoption studies, along with family studies have worked to establish the rate of the genetic and familial transmission of suicide, showing the complex interaction between genes and the environment. This presentation will situate clinical case material, along with an extended look at the family of Walker Percy to discuss the familial dynamics in the intergenerational transmission of suicide with attention to moral injury and object relations.
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