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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Columbia College of Missouri)
Description: This book provides an open and unbiased discussion of our current classification system within the field of mental health through a series of scholarly essays.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a critical evaluation of the DSM and fully weigh the pros and cons of this current diagnostic system. Furthermore, this book attempts to be a catalyst for raising awareness of the need for a more effective diagnostic system and provide readers with ideas for alternative methods for employing such change. The editors have carefully chosen contributors who are thought leaders in the area of diagnostics, and these contributors accurately discuss the limitations and strengths of the DSM with clinicians' needs in mind. The editors clearly accomplish their objectives.
Audience: Intended mainly for clinical and research psychologists, psychiatrists would obviously benefit from this work. The contributing authors as well as the editors are unquestionably experts in the field, credible, and strong diagnosticians.
Features: The book provides a solid foundation on diagnostics and classification. The alternative methods for classification and the critique of our current system are exceptionally well written and thought provoking. Highlights include the ever controversial diagnosis of children and adolescents per the DSM and the need for a model-based approach for this population along with the chapter on diagnosis and treatment guidelines for depression.
Assessment: Finally there is a book that intelligently discusses the strengths and shortcomings of the DSM and is not afraid to offer alternative suggestions to the DSM. This book takes on the heated question of whether the DSM can and should be the diagnostic tool across the mental health field. This book offers the field an invaluable discussion on a topic that cuts across psychology and psychiatry. It is highly recommended not only for its content but also for its ability to stimulate the reader's own thinking.