The Writer's Guide to Psychology: How to Write Accurately About Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment and Human Behavior

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

ImperfectClarity.net
A gift to writers everywhere ... a great roadmap for writers, authors and anyone who wants to start factually based research in the field of psychology.
Library Journal
Clinical psychologist and writing coach Kaufman (psychology, Columbus State Community Coll.) aims to assist fiction writers in portraying psychological disorders, clinical treatment, and sociopathic villains with more accuracy. She begins by dispelling some common mistakes authors make when portraying psychological problems. Boxes feature easily accessible bulleted tips and examples of what not to do, with references to well-known books, films, and authors. Realistic portrayals of treatments, differentiations within the profession, and disorders grouped by symptoms are included. Readers will be best served by checking the table of contents for what they are interested in rather than reading the book straight through; cross-references refer to other chapters to help them find what they need.Verdict At times, Kaufman gets a bit too clinical for the average reader, but her language is often user-friendly. Because the guide is directed toward writers with general knowledge rather than experts in the field, it is the only book of its kind. Recommended.—Karen McCoy, Fort Lewis Coll. Lib., Durango, CO
From the Publisher
"A fascinating overview of the major [psychological] disorders. . . . There are literally dozens of ideas for great stories in this guide. This is definitely a book to hold on to for future reference." —www.AKindleInHongKong.blogspot.com
Library Journal
Clinical psychologist and writing coach Kaufman (psychology, Columbus State Community Coll.) aims to assist fiction writers in portraying psychological disorders, clinical treatment, and sociopathic villains with more accuracy. She begins by dispelling some common mistakes authors make when portraying psychological problems. Boxes feature easily accessible bulleted tips and examples of what not to do, with references to well-known books, films, and authors. Realistic portrayals of treatments, differentiations within the profession, and disorders grouped by symptoms are included. Readers will be best served by checking the table of contents for what they are interested in rather than reading the book straight through; cross-references refer to other chapters to help them find what they need.Verdict At times, Kaufman gets a bit too clinical for the average reader, but her language is often user-friendly. Because the guide is directed toward writers with general knowledge rather than experts in the field, it is the only book of its kind. Recommended.—Karen McCoy, Fort Lewis Coll. Lib., Durango, CO
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781884995682
  • Publisher: Linden Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/1/2010
  • Pages: 234
  • Sales rank: 478,021
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Kaufman, PsyD, is a professor at Columbus State Community College. She is a full member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the APA's Media Psychology division. She lives in Westerville, Ohio.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Foreword ix

Introduction xi

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

Conclusion 211

Glossary 212

Note About the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 217

Bibliography 219

Index 224

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 23, 2011

    Must Have for Authors of Any Genre

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 9, 2010

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    Posted July 14, 2011

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