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From The CriticsReviewer: Joseph Thomas, BS (Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book examines the use of psychopharmacological interventions for a variety of mental illnesses. The chapters cover different diagnoses and the use of the combined model as it applies to the illness.
Purpose: The editors convey the importance of using psychotropic drugs with psychotherapy and behavioral treatments "to produce optimum patient outcome." They instruct the reader to be flexible in thinking about the needs of the patient rather than sticking to one modality for treatment. The editors call attention to an important issue for the treatment of mental illnesses. Dr. Sammons argues that since drug and nondrug treatments are "widespread in clinical practice" but "poorly represented in the research and clinical literature," mental health professionals should evolve in their understanding of the combined treatment model. The book provides a comprehensive compilation of the current thinking for the treatment of certain disorders.
Audience: The material in this book is geared toward psychologists, counselors, medical practitioners, academic psychologists, and students. The editors also intend this book for psychologists in training to prescribe psychotropics. The intended audience covers the full spectrum of mental health professionals. The specialized nature of the book provides information that practitioners will find very useful. The editors possess excellent credentials.
Features: The book discusses the efficacy of the separate modalities and then the blending of the treatments. The writers include extensive literature reviews and helpful tables from different studies that elucidate the text references to the studies. Especially interesting are the tables in the sections on depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The chapter on depression presents a comprehensive table of various studies and their outcomes. Table 3.1 in the section on OCD is composed of the steps for assessment and treatment of patients. This particular table could have been generalized as a model for the combined treatment of the other illnesses. In addition, one chapter contributes a balanced appraisal of the issue of prescriptive authority for psychologists.
Assessment: This book serves as an excellent primer of the concepts involved in fusing psychological and pharmacological tratments. The uniquness of this book is the emphasis on merging the treatment modalities rather than relying on one or the other as the only options for patient care. In contrast to most books that focus on specific theories, such as cognitive approaches for depression, the editors of this book espouse a practical approach to psychological and pharmacological management of mental illness.