Friday, July 26, 2013

Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Therapists 7e

Handbook of Clinical Psychopharmacology for Therapists 7th Edition, by John D. Preston, John H. O'Neal and Mary C. Talaga has become the go-to resource for thousands of mental health clinicians seeking a reliable and easy-to-reference resource detailing the indications, contraindications, and side effects of psychopharmaceuticals.

Organized by disorder and, within each disorder, by medication, this book is a vital addition to any clinician or student’s bookshelf. This revision includes an important new chapter on withdrawing from psychopharmacological medications that will prove useful for therapists seeking to help their clients change medication or stop taking a psychopharmacological medication. Now in its seventh edition, the book continues to be among the most important references in the field of mental health.

This book belongs on the desk of every psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, social worker, or anyone who works with clients who are taking psychoactive drugs. Also, anyone teaching or interested in abnormal psychology will find it indispensible. The authors manage, with judicious use of well-designed tables and clear, concise writing, to fill a gap in the current literature.

The book is logically organized into 3 major sections. The first, “Understanding Psychopharmacology: The Basics,” is easily the most academic of the three. Liberal use of case histories and sidebars with interesting anecdotal information, however, make it surprisingly readable and user-friendly.

The second section, “Clinical Syndromes: Etiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment Implications,” is the largest and most clinical segment. In it the reader will find a comprehensive list and description of the most common psychiatric disorders. Included in these descriptions are helpful suggestions regarding possible drugs and medical conditions that cause similar behavioral patterns as well as guidelines for when nonmedical practitioners should consider referral for medication treatment.

The third section, “Medications and Pharmacologic Treatment,” contains the information that I was initially looking for. Again the authors organize their material in a logical and clinically useful manner on the basis of major drug categories. They also provide handy thumb-tabs along with numerous charts and tables relating to issues such as dose guidelines, common side effects, special considerations, and treatment algorithms.

The book ends with 8 appendices intended for readers looking for a more in-depth discussion of topics mentioned earlier in the book. Included here are an expanded review of pharmacokinetics, numerous tables listing psychotropic drug interactions, an outline for performing a neurocognitive mental status exam, and a reference list of books to recommend to patients.

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