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From The CriticsReviewer: Jayalakshmi Jambunathan, PhD, MSN, MA, BSN, BSc (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This eighth edition of an encyclopedic psychiatric dictionary is intended to provide the readers information on new developments in psychiatry and related fields. The author has incorporated terms not only from the field of mental illness which includes psychopharmacologic agents, psychoanalysis, behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, interpersonal therapy, and other brief therapies, but also from other disciplines that have cross-fertilized with psychiatry. The seventh edition of the book was published in 1996.
Purpose: The purpose, according to the author, is to make the dictionary comprehensible not only to those who are active in the field of behavioral sciences, but also to readers whose primary work, interest or training may not be in the area being defined. The objectives are noteworthy since there are numerous allied professionals, health or non-health related, who can significantly contribute to overcoming the stigma against psychiatric patients and increase public awareness of psychiatric disorders. Additionally, these professionals can help stimulate wider interest in the field of psychiatry and motivate people to seek increasingly specialized information from their caregivers. With the fields of psychiatry and neuroscience becoming closer to each other, the author has met the intended objectives by incorporating current information on theories and discoveries from psychiatry and related disciplines.
Audience: According to the author, the book is written for psychiatrists, established practitioners, and recent graduates trained in a core medical curriculum which includes molecular biology and molecular genetics. The book is also intended for neurologists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, counselors, lawyers, and lay readers because of the cross fertilization between these different disciplines and psychiatry. The author is a credible authority with his eighth edition, which includes up-to-date material on neurosciences, cognitive psychology, neurodegenerative sciences, and information on treatments.
Features: This encyclopedic dictionary reflects information and achievements about not only the basic sciences but also their practical applications, as well as changes in the organizations and health care delivery. The book comprises a range of treatments for mental illness that include psychopharmacology, psychoanalysis, behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, etc. Important terms in the book are not only defined, but also described and explained. The definitions and descriptions are succinct, yet comprehensive, and also provide an easy understanding of complicated terms. Some illustrations would help lay readers, since the book is also intended for a variety of professions that are non-health related.
Assessment: This eighth edition is well justified and needed to create an awareness in the general public and other professions of the new knowledge and developments abounding in psychiatry and neuroscience. The book is useful as it provides current information from other disciplines that have cross fertilized with psychiatry.