In the United States, approximately 20% of children and adolescents have diagnosable mental health problems, with eleven percent significantly impaired. Sadly, most of these afflicted youth are not appropriately diagnosed and treated. For the editors of DSM-IV-TR® Casebook and Treatment Guide for Child Mental Health, this gap in services represents a crisis to which this outstanding volume is their powerful response. Working with an impressive team of contributors, the editors have created an indispensable reference and teaching tool for trainees, trainers, and clinicians of child and adolescent psychiatry, including social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and nurse clinicians.
The book's foundation is its thirty compelling and carefully narrated cases. Each case has three field leading commentators who describe how they conceptualize the case diagnostically and how they would approach treatment if the child presented to their practice. The book is organized into four parts: Classic Cases, where the diagnosis is fairly clear; Comorbid Complexity, where the diagnosis may be complicated by co-existing conditions; Toughest Cases, where the diagnosis is unclear or the patient has been unresponsive to treatment; and, finally, Kids in Crisis, where the patient's psychopathology exists in the context of extreme social stressors.
The volume offers an array of features that place it in a class by itself: Editors' introduction at the beginning of each part introduces and contextualizes the information to come, providing a framework for understanding and building bridges to the other sections. Three expert commentaries accompanying every case, simulating the experience of meeting with a panel of supervisors or -- depending on the reader's training level -- consultants who are among the best in the field. Thus, the case and commentary are a great starting point for clinicians considering how to approach assessment and treatment of patients in their practice. The commentaries are cross-disciplinary and thus offer a diversity of approaches. The first is always written from a psychotherapeutic perspective, the second, from a psychopharmacological perspective, and the third is integrative, ranging across etiologic and therapeutic perspectives. These were written without reading the other commentaries resulting in a range of opinion that reflects the realities of clinical practice. Chapters on research and clinical perspectives and diagnostic decision making focusing the clinician on developmental and cultural issues and explaining how a stronger, more nuanced understanding of clinical decision making leads to improved diagnosis and treatment. Descriptions and comparisons of an abundance of screening tools and rating scales in the Appendix, along with information on acquiring them for use in a clinical setting. A concise, research-based, and clinically pragmatic approach that child and adolescent psychiatrists studying for their board exams will find very useful.
Thoughtful, comprehensive, and reflective of the realities of clinical practice, the DSM-IV-TR® Casebook and Treatment Guide for Child Mental Health will be prized by trainees and clinicians alike.