Description: Looking at the treatment of self-injurious behavior under the categories of behaviors related to developmental syndromes, self-violating acts during psychotic episodes, compulsive and impulsive behaviors, the authors offer a range of tools for assessment and treatment of this serious mental health problem.
Purpose: This is a volume in the Clinical Practice Series, which focuses on providing a comprehensive background on topics of interest to the practicing clinician. This offers a great benefit to the busy practitioner who may not have time to follow or collect the most recent research on this topic.
Audience: Although the book is written for those engaged in clinical practice, it also could serve as an excellent textbook. The chapters are written by experts in their field and provide entry into understanding this very complex disorder.
Features: By beginning with the self-injurious behaviors most clearly related to brain abnormalities and the accompanying studies of functions of neurotransmitters, brain functions, and genetic links, the book lays the background for this approach to all categories of self harm. By moving through treatment modalities for the four different groups, the benefits of a variety of approaches become clear. The placement of the chapter on dialectic behavior therapy, which offers several techniques of self management for the impulsive behaviors associated with borderline personality disorder, prepares for the following chapter on psychodynamic approaches. Developing skills to interrupt unhealthy behavior can lay the development of a stronger ego and a more cohesive self. The explanation of self-injury in response to past abuse would have been richer if the authors had included information about the psychobiology of trauma.
Assessment: This excellent book includes the latest understanding of the problem of self injurious behavior. The charts and summaries make it clear and useful for the busy clinician. Information from well chosen studies and extensive bibliographies offer a path to further exploration.