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An accurate and accessible survey of modern psychological theory and practice, this reference offers professional writers practical advice for incorporating psychological elements into their work. With easy-to-understand explanations and definitions, this book is an invaluable resource for any writer wishing to add realistic details to scenes that depict psychologists, mental illnesses and disorders, and psychotherapeutic treatments. Designed around the needs of professional fiction and nonfiction writers, this ...
An accurate and accessible survey of modern psychological theory and practice, this reference offers professional writers practical advice for incorporating psychological elements into their work. With easy-to-understand explanations and definitions, this book is an invaluable resource for any writer wishing to add realistic details to scenes that depict psychologists, mental illnesses and disorders, and psychotherapeutic treatments. Designed around the needs of professional fiction and nonfiction writers, this is an easy-to-use resource that includes historical and modern psychological treatments and terms and refutes popularly held misconceptions.
Chapter 1 Common Myths and Mistakes
A Look at Fictional Portrayals of Psychological Problems, Professionals, and Treatments 1
Chapter 2 Why People Do What They Do
Learning to Think Like a Shrink 17
Chapter 3 The Therapist's Profession
Degrees, Training, and Ethics 37
Chapter 4 Behind Closed Doors
How Real Therapy Sessions Work 47
Chapter 5 Disorders and Diagnosis
When Does a Problem Become a Disorder? 63
Chapter 6 The Disorders, Part I
Mood, Anxiety, and Psychotic Disorders 77
Chapter 7 The Disorders, Part II
Childhood Disorders, Dementia, and Eating Disorders 109
Chapter 8 The Disorders, Part III
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Dissociation 125
Chapter 9 The Disorders, Part IV
Personality Disorders 145
Chapter 10 Psychopaths and Villains
Crossing the Line 163
Chapter 11 Physical and Biological Interventions
Medications, Electroshock, and One Really Horrible Idea 175
Chapter 12 Emergencies in Psychotherapy
Suicidality, Homicidality, and Hospitalization 195
Note About the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 217
Posted March 23, 2011
Because authors tend to write about seriously flawed people, we often delve into the realm of psychology, intentionally or not. Stories in a wide array of genres feature psychologists, psychiatrists, psychopaths, schizophrenics, and any number of other characters that fall within the pale of modern psychology. Unfortunately, however, modern authors are too often guilty of taking their understanding of psychology at face value and running away with common misconceptions without a second thought. How many of us know the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist or the difference between psychopathy and psychosis? How many of us (and if you've watched A Beautiful Mind, you don't count!) know that schizophrenia does not involve multiple personalities?
Amid this scene of confusion, Carolyn Kaufman's accessible The Writer's Guide to Psychology offers both a fascinating read and a wealth of resource material. This is the kind of book you'll want to read from cover to cover and then store within reach of your desk for quick reference. Kaufman tackles a complicated subject and breaks it down into easily digestible pieces. She discusses everything from common myths and mistakes, to "thinking like a shrink," to detailed descriptions of many prominent disorders, including mood disorders, dementia, eating disorders, and PTSD, among many others.
The book is peppered with a delightful gamut of extra goodies, including Q&As and the always fun "Don't Let This Happen to You," in which Kaufman uses examples from popular film and fiction to illustrate how not to write about psychological subjects. The book came in particularly handy for me, since one of the stories I'm working on features a psychologist (now I don't have to worry about whether he should be called a psychiatrist instead!), but I have no doubt that it will be equally useful even in writing stories with no blatant connection to psychology. This one will be on my shelf for a long time to come.
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Posted December 9, 2010
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Posted July 14, 2011
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