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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Steve C. Lee, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book, as the title suggests, is a general overview of the multiple approaches to personality disorders. This second edition is an update of one published in 1995.
Purpose: Dr. Sperry states that his purpose was to provide a comprehensive, integrative approach to the diagnosis and treatment of personality disorders in a reader-friendly manner.
Audience: The book is accessible to those with at least a rudimentary understanding of psychotherapy. In a practical sense, this book is ideal for the clinician looking for a starting point from which to further one's own search into the existing body of work in the realms of the personality disorders.
Features: The first chapter discusses the history and trends of how psychiatrists have viewed these disorders and touches on the evolution of the criteria listed in the DSM's. Subsequently, a chapter is devoted to each personality disorder adhering to a logical format. Each disorder is systematically characterized in regards to behavioral style, attachment style, etc. Biological, psychological and social formulations are then summarized. In the same manner, psychotherapeutic and medication treatment options are investigated. The book does a commendable job of citing key studies and pointing out in which areas research is lacking. This book is well-organized and makes effective use of tables and outlines.
Assessment: Overall, the author does a commendable job surveying the field in which there is a wide variation of opinion among different schools of psychiatry. He is quite successful in delivering this information in a readable manner.