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Approach to the Psychiatric Patient: Case-Based Essays
     

Approach to the Psychiatric Patient: Case-Based Essays

by John W. Barnhill
 

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Approach to the Psychiatric Patient is a case-based exploration of psychiatry. It is both a general introduction to multiple aspects of the field and a series of sophisticated discussions that clarify controversies, dilemmas, and ambiguities. By covering the psychiatric waterfront while featuring many subspecialties, the book intends to fill a gap that exists

Overview

Approach to the Psychiatric Patient is a case-based exploration of psychiatry. It is both a general introduction to multiple aspects of the field and a series of sophisticated discussions that clarify controversies, dilemmas, and ambiguities. By covering the psychiatric waterfront while featuring many subspecialties, the book intends to fill a gap that exists between standard psychiatric reviews, specialty texts, and pocket guides. Further, by making use of over 100 essayists, Approach to the Psychiatric Patient captures much of the complexity and richness that make modern psychiatry a fascinating challenge.

The ten cases span a broad diagnostic spectrum, from geriatric depression (case 2) and schizophrenia (case 4) to substance abuse (case 6) and disappointment over an exam failure (case 10). The situations range from inpatient hospitalizations (case 1) and emergency room evaluations (case 3) to outpatient assessments (case 7) and long-term psychotherapies (case 8). Perhaps most importantly, the 100 essays have been written by a broad range of specialists who have all been asked to comment specifically on one aspect of their particular case. These essays are brief (about 1500 words) and are intended to serve as "curbside consults" in which the expert dispenses a sharp perspective on the particular situation.

The book highlights a broad span of human experience. For example, in the first case, a middle-aged man has been admitted to a psychiatric unit after having tried to kill himself. Experts comment on depression, suicidality, psychodynamics, the interview, the neurobiology of stress, inpatient psychiatry, brain stimulation, pharmacology, supportive psychotherapy, and couples therapy, and they also describe relevant aspects of the African American experience and the historical development of the field of psychiatry. In the final case, a medical student presents for a psychiatric assessment after having failed a gross anatomy test. This case prompts discussions of her evaluation (e.g., essays on the medical school experience, somatoform disorders, the neurobiology of obsessions, narcissism, and the first-generation Asian American), and on her treatment (e.g. essays on complementary medicine, mindfulness meditation, self psychology, therapeutic zeal, empathy, self-defeating behavior, and evidence-based psychotherapy). An expert then provides an overview for each of the 10 chapters. After the overview, each chapter concludes with a set of thought-provoking assertions that are intended to provoke the reader into further consideration of the patient and situation.

In order to create the book's richly complex mosaic, the editor has attracted some of the country's most eminent psychiatrists and psychologists. There are several ways to attract such a multidisciplinary group and to then encourage their best efforts. In this case, the editor chose to recruit faculty members from one set of interconnected institutions: Weill Cornell Medical College, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Rockefeller University. This limitation inevitably led to the exclusion of some distinguished authors, but it did lead to the vigorous participation of some experts who might not have otherwise agreed to contribute.

Practical and thoughtful, Approach to the Psychiatric Patient serves as an expert on the shoulder to clinicians who approach psychiatric patients as well as to anyone who is curious about the state of the art of modern psychiatry.

Editorial Reviews

The British Journal of Psychiatry Amit Nulkar

This book emphasizes the recognition of the usefulness of multiple approaches, presents recent advances to our knowledge base and highlights controversies.

Jeffrey L. Geller

One important achievement of this collection is that it approximates a historical snapshot of the field. Each short essay is written from a well-defined angel. This book provides an educational resource that is valuable not only to trainees bur also to seasoned clinicians in any of our disciplines. This book if filled with wisdom and insight.

Matthew N. Goldenberg

Readers of Approaches to the Psychiatric Patient will gain an appreciation for these myriad perspectives of a psychiatrist. Indeed, each essay offers a window into how psychiatrists think.

The British Journal of Psychiatry - Amit Nulkar
This book emphasizes the recognition of the usefulness of multiple approaches, presents recent advances to our knowledge base and highlights controversies.

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: William Miles, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This softcover book presents 10 psychiatric cases followed by essays discussing various approaches to the case.
Purpose: The purpose is to use a case-based approach to educate readers about the multidisciplinary aspect of psychiatric medicine. These are certainly worthy objectives, and the authors meet them.
Audience: The editor implies that the book is written for psychiatrists, but medical students might find the cases and essays useful in aiding their understanding of the multidisciplinary approach to psychiatric medicine.
Features: Each case consists of a brief history, mental status exam, and summary. Several essays (each written by a different author) then follow, discussing various aspects of the case (e.g. psychotherapeutic, pharmacology, social aspects, etc.). Following each case and collection of essays are summary points, highlighting the major learning topics of each case. There are no illustrations (except for some molecular structures), but numerous tables are used throughout. A comprehensive bibliography and index end the book.
Assessment: This is a unique and interesting book. It is quite useful and refreshing to see a multidisciplinary approach used to discuss the various cases; it is as though each author is offering a "curbside consult" on how he/she might approach the case. Psychiatrists will find this book quite helpful. I personally will consider using the book and its cases/essays in educating my medical students about the necessity of a multidisciplinary approach to psychiatric medicine. This is a very worthwhile contribution to the field.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585628322
Publisher:
American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
565
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

Haun Saussy

With its detailed individual case histories and multiple interpretations, this book shows the uncertainty and the adventure of psychiatric medicine. Its reflections on the consultation process itself are particularly valuable. A range of clinical perspectives is brought to each case and the advantages and drawbacks of each are discussed frankly, as are the ethical issues every therapist must keep in mind. This snapshot of symptoms and responses enables the reader to see the concepts and debates that structure the profession today.

Stephen Paget

Frankly, I have never seen a book, in any medical area, that is better conceptualized and written. I especially liked the fact that each essay focuses on a patient and his or her psychiatric issue. The author list is world-class, and they all stood up and delivered stellar chapters. I am sure that Approach to the Psychiatric Patient will become mandatory reading for both trainees and their teachers.

Matthew N. Goldenberg
Readers of Approaches to the Psychiatric Patient will gain an appreciation for these myriad perspectives of a psychiatrist. Indeed, each essay offers a window into how psychiatrists think. (Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes)
Jeffrey L. Geller
One important achievement of this collection is that it approximates a historical snapshot of the field. Each short essay is written from a well-defined angel. This book provides an educational resource that is valuable not only to trainees bur also to seasoned clinicians in any of our disciplines. This book if filled with wisdom and insight. (MPH,)
Amit Nulkar
This book emphasizes the recognition of the usefulness of multiple approaches, presents recent advances to our knowledge base and highlights controversies.(The British Journal of Psychiatry)

Meet the Author

John W. Barnhill, M.D., is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College; Chief of the Consultation-Liaison Service at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center; and a faculty member at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training&Research in New York City.

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