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Bodies under Siege: Self-mutilation, Nonsuicidal Self-injury, and Body Modification in Culture and Psychiatry 3ed

by Armando R. Favazza Johns Hopkins University Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 352 pages
AU$152.00 NZ$155.65
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A quarter century after it was first published, Bodies under Siege remains the classic, authoritative book on self-mutilation. Now in its third edition, this invaluable work is updated throughout with findings from hundreds of new studies, discussions of new models of self-injury, an assessment of the S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends) program, and The Bill of Rights for People Who Self-Harm. Armando R. Favazza's pioneering work identified a wide range of forces that compel or impel people to mutilate themselves, many of them cultural and societal. This new edition examines the explosive growth in the incidence of self-injurious behaviors and body modification practices. Favazza critically assesses new and significant biological, ethnological, social, and psychological findings regarding self-injury; presents current understandings of self-injurious acts from cultural and clinical perspectives; and places self-mutilation in historical and contemporary context. Critical acclaim for the second edition of Bodies under Siege 'The second edition of the fascinating but gruesome Bodies under Siege by Armando R. Favazza explores the various ways in which people mutilate their bodies. Favazza explores the historical background and offers insights into how and why people do truly appalling things to their limbs, heads, and genitals. He pleads for understanding for a group of patients who are often seen as bizarre and repellent.' -- New Scientist 'The seminal book on ; presents a comprehensive historical, anthropological, and clinical review of the topic.' -- Current Directions in Psychological Science 'A compendium of cultural and clinical reports of self-mutilation and a summary of what is and what is not known about therapy, the book is a major contribution to both the anthropological and psychiatric literature. I know that having read it I will see my next self-mutilating patient through more insightful and compassionate eyes.' -- Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders 'A comprehensive historical, anthropological, ethnological, and clinical account of self-mutilation.' -- Journal of the American Medical Association 'A successful elucidation of the grim clinical reality of self-mutilation within its cultural context... We will be reading much more about self-mutilative behavior in the coming years, and this book is the place to begin.' -- Psychosomatics

Preface to the Third Edition
Part I: Mutilative Beliefs, Religion, Eating, and Ethology
1. Mutilative Beliefs, Attitudes, Practices, and Images
2. Self-mutilation in Myths of Creation, Shamanism, and Religion
3. Self-injury and Eating Disorders
4. Animals and Automutilation
Part II: Mutilation and Self-Injury of Body Parts: Cultural and Clinical Cases
5. The Head and Its Parts
6. The Limbs
7. The Skin
8. The Genitals
Part III: Insight and Treatment
9. Understanding Self-injury
10. The Assessment, Psychology, and Biology of Self-injury
11. Treatment
12. Personal Reflections
Epilogue: Body Play: My Journey, Fakir Musafar

"Bodies under Siege is an excellent book dealing with self-mutilation in depth and breadth. It is a clinical volume that should be of use to all in the mental health field. The book is also an anthropological contribution to the understanding of what it means to be human... I believe that this book will remain a classic in the psychiatric literature, and I recommend it to a wide audience."

Armando Favazza, M.D., is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He is a fellow of both the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Psychiatrists and is a co-founder of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture.