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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (Assurance Health and Wellness)
Description: Given the recent changes to the major classification system for mental illness in North America (the DSM-5), this second edition describes the most recent literature on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the various identified personality disorders.
Purpose: Research has changed our understanding of the etiology and concept of a personality disorder over time. With this dynamic field of study come constant revisions in how we comprehend and classify these conditions. This book attempts to identify and explain research-based data about personality disorders.
Audience: The editors point out this work is meant to present updated information "essential to clinicians," suggesting its primary audience is mental health providers working directly with patients in clinical settings.
Features: The chapters are grouped into four sections (Clinical Concepts and Etiology, Treatment, Special Problems and Populations, and Future Directions) and generally end with a brief conclusion section and numerous references. Most include case examples, figures, and tables as well. The appendix provides a detailed explanation of an alternative method for identifying personality disorders through characterization "by impairments in personality functioning and pathological personality traits."
Assessment: As research has accumulated regarding various aspects of personality disorders, especially over the past 10 to 15 years, much of what was previously understood has been reassessed. As a result, different approaches for assessing and treating patients with these complicated disorders have been refined. The authors of this book have attempted to simplify the data and provide a consolidated source for improving clinicians' knowledge of, and approach to, these challenging cases. The chapter on managing suicide risk is particularly useful, and the appendix clarifies some of the mystery behind the newly developed alternative approach to diagnosis. All told, it is a worthwhile read and a good reference for clinicians.