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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Stephen M. Delisi, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is an exhaustive review of the current state of knowledge about personality disorders. Emphasizing empirical evidence, as well as conceptual issues within this area of study, the book draws from the extremely broad clinical and research base of its contributing authors.
Purpose: The aim is to provide a current and thorough review of personality disorders that is timely and relevant to the clinician. The book also aims to stimulate discussion and exploration regarding the etiology and treatment of these debilitating disorders. These aims represent an ambitious and important contribution and overall the book meets these objectives very well.
Audience: The authors target the book to clinicians. As such, it focuses on those issues and concepts of personality disorders that carry with them some empirical data. This book would be a valuable resource to any reader interested in an evidence-based approach to personality disorders. The contributing authors represent wide-ranging and diverse conceptual backgrounds and many are acknowledged leaders in this field.
Features: The book has a logical framework that consists of five parts. The first part covers the historical, conceptual, and theoretical issues of personality disorders. Following this strong foundation, the second section provides an exhaustive review of the epidemiology and etiologic theories (including genetic, neurobehavioral, and psychosocial variables) of these disorders that have significant empirical evidence. Part 3 details the multitude of assessment measures that have been developed in this field. Use of clear tables helps the reader organize the information. The fourth section is once again an exhaustive review of the current state of knowledge regarding personality disorders. This section reviews the diverse treatment options that have been created to address these complicated illnesses. This section is extremely detailed, and many of the chapters are authored by those who have championed the various therapeutic modalities. Part 5 outlines special situations that arise in the care of patients with personality disorders.
Assessment: As a psychiatrist whose main clinical focus is the treatment of patients with personality disorders, I found this book to be an absolutely wonderful resource. The organization of the book provides the reader with a logical progression of information; and the detail to which it reviews the current literature is superb. I recommend this to anyone who is seriously striving to learn what is presently understood about these perplexing and painful illnesses.