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From The CriticsReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: It is quite clear that many individuals with mental illness are in need of treatment and can benefit from it. This book identifies and explores different approaches and services that can assist patients with mental illness in their road to recovery.
Purpose: The intention is to provide the reader with an expanded repertoire of biopsychosocial approaches to treating mental illness.
Audience: The book will probably appeal to a wide audience, including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and other therapists. It is largely written at an appropriate level, although some of the material is rather basic and probably unnecessary in this type of book (e.g., describing the 5-axis system of DSM-IV).
Features: In a book with "psychiatric" in the title, there is relatively little psychiatry to be found (one chapter on medication management). It has more of a biopsychosocial approach than a purely psychiatric. Once readers being to figure out where the authors are coming from (the first definition of "psychiatric rehabilitation" is three chapters into the book) and where they are headed, there is some useful information. A wide range of topics is covered, including assessment, case management, housing, social skills training, and stigma and policy considerations. Although the book also includes a chapter on cultural competence, it is lacking in its coverage of other diversity issues (e.g., age or physical disabilities). The chapters are generally well laid out with figures and tables to summarize key information. This is especially helpful for reviewing the literature on certain topics, such as available assessment instruments or the effectiveness of medication adherence regimens. The authors have included case vignettes, but they are generally superficial and do not seem to add much. The references are abundant and fairly current, and it is this up-to-date review of the literature that seems to be the real strength of the book.
Assessment: The idea of a book that covers all biopsychosocial aspects of recovery from mental illness, rather than just medication or psychotherapy, is admirable. The title, however, does not capture this and may fail to attract nonpsychiatric providers. Although some topics are rather basic in scope, once readers are immersed in the book, the review of the literature is valuable.