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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: Composed to define terms "currently relevant to the mental health field," this book attempts to clarify meanings of concepts through "definitions, examples, and qualifications."
Purpose: The authors note that the book "is meant to be a resource for anyone who needs concise but thorough explanations of terms that have pertinence to the practice and study of mental health." Its secondary purpose seems to be to solidify a consistent language and understanding among practitioners in the field.
Audience: Though primarily directed at those involved in the field of mental health, this book also might be useful for those without the training or experience of clinicians in the trenches. The authors also note "many of the definitions and examples have been edited to allow for those outside the field to grasp the meanings more easily."
Features: In addition to over 250 pages of definitions and examples, the book also has sections covering commonly used abbreviations, medications used in psychiatry, psychiatric measures, legal terms, and mental health resources.
Assessment: This book is unique to the field and there are few comparable publications. Although there are limited glossaries in many psychiatric/psychological books, few are as comprehensive and inclusive as this one. The authors have attempted to address virtually all relevant psychiatric terms, including brief but complete definitions of psychiatric diagnoses. The section regarding legal terms could be particularly enlightening, especially since many clinicians do not have a familiarity with the justice system and its many interactions with mental health. Additionally, the chapter on mental health resources is very valuable, as it includes physical addresses, web addresses, and phone numbers. Overall, this is a nice contribution to the field.