First Responder's Guide to Abnormal Psychology: Applications for Police, Firefighters and Rescue Personnel / Edition 1

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Natural disasters. Hostage situations. Terror attacks. During these and other emergency situations, first responders make split-second judgments: evaluating risks, identifying dangerous conditions, and often the hardest job of all attending to those distressed and disturbed by their ordeal. Abnormal Psychology for First Responders gives readers critical insights into the human impact of extreme trauma, and the various levels of mental impairment suffered by both victims and survivors. Renowned trauma experts William Dorfman and Lenore Walker give this book immediate relevance through the use of real-life examples from a wide range of crisis situations. They have also deliberately minimized research citations within the text for greater readability.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

"William Dorfman and Lenore Walker, in First Responder's Guide to Abnormal Psychology, have written an excellent primer for police, firefighters, and rescue personnel. Regrettably we live in an increasingly dangerous world, where the services of these individuals are increasingly in demand, and now they will have a clearer understanding of the mental health issues faced by victims of disasters. This book fills in a gap in the literature and should be mandatory reading for all personnel who deal with the victims of disaster and crime. Albeit surprisingly comprehensive for a primer, the writing is clear and to the point. Ample examples are provided so that the reader is able to link the theoretical with the clinical. Moreover, the level of the writing is just right. The authors have my enthusiastic endorsement for this important contribution to the literature."
- Michel Hersen, Ph.D. ABPP, Professor and Dean, School of Professional Psychology, Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon

"Drs. Dorfman and Walker have done a masterful job at synthesizing the volumes of information on mental illness and abnormal behavior into a concise text. They have done this without compromising the science, nor the clinical, components of behavioral science. The book is an excellent text for those educating and training first responders!"
- Robert A. Leark, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Forensic Psychology, Alliant International University, Los Angeles, California

"Well done! This book was written to help all those experiencing mental health emergencies by educating first responders who are most often in a position to help. This book should not only be incorporated in all training of first responders but be on the bookshelf of all who conduct such training, first responder supervisors, and people in professions frequently exposed to crisis situations."
- Charles R. Figley, Ph.D., Editor, Traumatology and Director, the Florida State University Traumatology Institute in Tallahassee, Tallahassee, Florida

"First Responder's Guide to Abnormal Psychology is an original contribution to the field. First responders, those who are first on the scene of an emergency, need to understand how people respond to disaster both physically and emotionally. They need to understand abnormal psychology, most particularly as it applies to people in crisis. There is little in the literature that addresses this need. Dorfman & Walker have written a text that responds to that need. In a thorough and jargon free manner, they provide an overview of abnormal psychology as we understand it today in a way that meets the needs of first responders. The scope is broad in its theoretical understanding and clear in its clinical examples. It will be useful to those teaching and training all of those people who become the first responders, that is fire departments, criminal justice systems and health care systems. It will serve to enhance the education and training of those first responders."
- Laura Barbanel, EdD, ABPP, Brooklyn College, Executive Director, Trauma Treatment Center, Manhattan Institute for psychoanalyis and Author of Psychological Interventions in times of crisis

"This book will save lives. A unique toolkit and briefing book for first-responders, it fills a critical gap. This comprehensive and innovative resource puts cutting-edge research, theory, and experience into practical form. It will help those who risk their lives to help us."
- Kenneth S. Pope, Ph.D., ABPP, Author of "What Therapists Don't Talk About and Why"

"First Responder's Guide to Abnormal Psychology: Applications for Police, Firefighters and Rescue Personnel presents the major mental health diagnostic categories for the nonpsychologist reader toward the goal of improving the interactions of first responders with individuals who may meet criteria for a mental health disorder. … In summary … this book meets its goal of being a guide to abnormal psychology. The chapters related to the mental disorders and the legal system are thorough and easily readable." (Carrie H. Kennedy, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 52 (39), 2007)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387351391
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 4/2/2007
  • Edition description: 2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 233
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

William I. Dorfman, Ph.D., ABPP is Professor of Psychology and Associate Director of Clinical Training in the Center for Psychological Studies, Nova Southeastern University. He was formerly the Executive Director of Nova Southeastern University’s Community Mental Health Center and Chief Psychologist of its APA-approved Internship in Clinical Psychology. Prior to coming to the Center for Psychological Studies, Dr. Dorfman was Executive Director of the Rockbridge Area Community Mental Health Center in Lexington, Virginia where he also taught at Washington and Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute. From 1972-1977, while serving in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, he was Director of Training of an APA-approved community-clinical internship at Fort Ord, California. Dr. Dorfman who attained the rank of Major before leaving reserve duty consulted with several military organizations including the Military Police and post hospital installations.

Dr. Dorfman received his Bachelor of Science degree, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Scranton and his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Psychology from the Ohio State University. He is a licensed psychologist in Florida, a member of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology and is Board Certified in Clinical Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.

Dr. Dorfman is active in the education and training of professional psychologists and has published his work in professional journals and books and presented at scientific meetings in the areas of assessment of personality, treatment of the seriously mentally ill and their families, psychopathology, clinical interviewing and the evaluation of trainees’ attitudes toward managed health care systems and brief therapy. He has served as a consultant to Broward County Florida’ Sheriff’s Department in training detectives on interviewing mentally disturbed subjects and serves as a consultant to the county Crisis Intervention Team. Dr. Dorfman has made numerous radio and television appearances, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, and "360" with Anderson Cooper discussing mental health issues.

Dr. Lenore E. Walker is a clinical and forensic psychologist who currently is a full time professor of psychology at Nova Southeastern University at their Center for Psychological Studies where she coordinates the forensic psychology concentration with the doctoral students.

She has been in the independent practice of psychology for over 30 years and currently practices forensic psychology on a part-time basis. She pioneered the use of BWS in courts of law, first helping juries understand how a battered woman could fail to leave a battering relationship and then, provided testimony on why a battered woman might be justified in killing her abuser in self-defense. She frequently testifies on the emotional impact of interpersonal violence (physical, sexual, and/or psychological abuse) on victims.

Walker received her Ed.D. degree in psychology from Rutgers, The State University in New Jersey in 1972, her MS in psychology from CCNY and AB from Hunter College, both of the City University of New York. She recently earned a MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology from NSU. She has authored 10 books and over 50 professional articles on the topics of trauma from interpersonal violence and gender issues, especially multicultural, feminist and survivor therapy systems.

She is invited by governments and organizations around the world to speak on the topic of domestic violence, and frequently presents workshops on the topic.

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Table of Contents

The Role and Importance of First Responders in Dealing with Psychologically Disordered Individuals.- Normal vs. Abnormal Behavior: A Continuum.- Key Mental Health Issues in the Criminal Justice and Emergency Medical Systems.- Disorders of the Brain and Central Nervous System.- The Psychotic Disorders.- The Mood Disorders.- The Anxiety, Somatoform and Dissociative Disorders.- The Personality Disorders.- The Substance Use Disorders.- Crisis, Terrorism and Trauma-Based Disorders.- Therapeutic Justice.- Mental Disorders in Youth.

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