Book Reviews

Books on: ADHDAnxietyBipolarDepressionMemoirsOCDPTSD


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

The Compass of Now

November 6th, 2014
Many books on the healing power of meditation belabor the importance of breathing and focused practice. In her new book, DDnard — the popular name of a spiritual guru in Thailand — concentrates instead on Buddhist parables. As DDnard explains in The Compass of Now: How One Woman Became Financially Free, Healed Wounds, and Inspired Millions of ...

Alien Landscapes? Interpreting Disordered Minds

BOOK REVIEW.
In the latter half of the nineteenth century, psychiatrists were called alienists. That archaic term is given a nod in the title of philosopher Jonathan Glover’s new book as he describes the often foreign-seeming terrain of a disordered mind and the ways that we have historically analyzed it. A professor of ethics at the School of ...

Children’s Dreams: Understanding the Most Memorable Dreams & Nightmares of Childhood

BOOK REVIEW.
My younger brother and I are in the back seat of our family’s van, parked on a steep hill. At the base of the hill is a lake or some other body of water. The ocean? My mother has stepped out of the car and she is at the top of the hill. She is ...

Rescuing Julia Twice: A Mother’s Tale of Russian Adoption & Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder

BOOK REVIEW.
We make a lot of fuss over book covers, don’t we. Whether they look cheesy or slick. Whether the publisher is trying to get us to purchase something old repackaged as something new. And, of course, whether we should judge by them or not. About titles, though, there’s less discussion. Which is why I was surprised that ...

The Heat of the Moment in Treatment: Mindful Management of Difficult Clients

BOOK REVIEW.
"What about my pain?" Sandra asked, her brow furrowed. "It's my back. My primary care doctor says I need more meds." "You can ask the nurse for Tylenol or ibuprofen," I said, trying to maintain my composure seated across from Sandra on the inpatient psychiatric ward, "or I can add some naproxen, if you would like." "But ...

Each Day I Like It Better: Autism, ECT & the Treatment of Our Most Impaired Children

BOOK REVIEW.
Say "shock therapy" to most people and what comes to mind? For many, it is some version of Jack Nicholson’s experience in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: a patient writhing on the table as a crazed doctor sends waves of electricity through his brain, all with disastrous consequences. Even during my psychiatry clerkship as a ...

Integrative Team Treatment for Attachment Trauma in Children: Family Therapy & EMDR

BOOK REVIEW.
Meltdowns are common in young children of a certain age. But did you know that meltdowns and emotional outbursts are even more common among children who struggle with attachment issues and traumatic pasts? Many parents — and even some mental health professionals — are uninformed about the particular effects that traumatic experience can have on ...

The Anger Management Workbook: Use the STOP Method to Replace Destructive Responses with Constructive Behavior

BOOK REVIEW.
The Anger Management Workbook is not for sissies. It is a complete manual to help you evaluate whether or not you have an anger problem — and then, to learn about different types of anger and how they surface, ways to analyze one’s own anger experiences, and methods to bring about change to stop them. ...

Book Review: The First Interview

BOOK REVIEW.
“Hi. I’m Dr. Riddle,” I say, pulling a chair up next to the gurney. “I’m one of the psychiatrists in the emergency department this evening. Would you have time to chat for a few minutes?” The young woman on the gurney tries a half smile. I take that as consent. “What brings you into the ...

Book Review: How to Be Alone

BOOK REVIEW.
I recently took a 10-day solitary road trip through Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas. A few stops to promote a new book required interacting with other people, but otherwise it was just me and my car and miles and miles of glorious prairie. I put about 2,000 miles on my car on that trip. I drove ...

The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life

BOOK REVIEW.
Surrendering to a simpler life can be frightening or stressful — even inconceivable.  Consider an average day. Multitasking and over-performing are more a requisite than an ideal, as is maintaining competitive advantages just so you can pay your rent. Competition is everywhere we look, in fact, making it seem almost reckless, at least counter-intuitive, to stop ...

Book Review: Living Independently on the Autism Spectrum

BOOK REVIEW.
Lynne Soraya grew up in a world that did not always make sense. She did learn to make her way through, but it was difficult. As an adult, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome — then life began to make much more sense. Soraya’s book, Living Independently on the Autism Spectrum: What You Need to Know to ...

Charting the Course for Treating Children with Autism: A Beginner’s Guide for Therapists

BOOK REVIEW.
For therapists who work with children on the autism spectrum, the family interview or assessment can be quite difficult. It can be hard to determine how much information to obtain and how much information to omit. And for many of us, getting a parent or family to remain focused during the assessment and provide structured ...

DSM-5 Made Easy: The Clinician’s Guide to Diagnosis

BOOK REVIEW.
I had just come off my first overnight shift. From 8pm to 8am, I was the go-to resident for any issues that arose on any of the three psychiatry units, along with any emergent psychiatric consults from anywhere in the hospital. A psych patient couldn’t sleep? My pager went off. Another fell while getting himself ...

Diagnosis Made Easier: Principles & Techniques for Mental Health Clinicians (2nd Edition)

BOOK REVIEW.
It was a few weeks into my psychiatry residency, the print barely dry on my medical school diploma, when I met a patient we’ll call Sarah. Up to that point, the majority of those I had cared for on the inpatient psychiatry ward had been in and out of mental health care for years. When ...

Book Review: The Matchmaker

BOOK REVIEW.
The Matchmaker, Elin Hilderbrand’s new summer novel, brings readers back to the place where the sand is hot but the ground is healing — Nantucket. This beautifully written and thought-provoking story illustrates the power of love and emphasizes the notion that we have one life to live -- how can we make it ...

Healing from Neglect: When Those We Love Don’t Love Us

BOOK REVIEW.
It is an emotion that has inspired the rise and fall of empires and that influences the very foundation of our development. But how you approach love is dependent on your past and present associations with it. The belief that love is a many-splendored thing falls away when we step back and evaluated the collateral ...

Heads Up Psychology

By Marcus Weeks I was always an inquisitive kid (this is probably synonymous with “nosey” but sounds nicer).  When I learned that the mother of one of my friends had gone back to school and was taking a course in psychology, I was curious.  “But what is psychology?” I kept asking.  Despite the fact that psychology is ...

The Fog of Paranoia: A Sister’s Journey through Her Brother’s Schizophrenia

BOOK REVIEW.
When a loved one develops a mental illness, we sift through the sands of memory looking for clues. Running our hand through the fine grains, we examine past events, vague memories, comments made in passing. As we home in on a recollection, we ask ourselves: Was this the moment we knew something was wrong? Or ...

Rethink How You Think: How to Create Lasting Change Today

BOOK REVIEW.
For a science-informed book on self-improvement, Rethink How You Think can be both illuminating and confounding. The primary reason is its splicing of science and religion: two camps perennially at odds. However, this is not the kind of book that has been somewhat in vogue the past few years, a pop-science look at religiosity versus ...

Book Review: The One & Only

BOOK REVIEW.
A palpable buzz is in the air of Huntington’s renowned book shop. On a May night, this Long Island, New York, venue is packed with females and the demographic is vast: teenage girls, young women, and senior citizens all seated in place. We’re here to meet Emily Giffin, the incredibly sweet, down-to-earth Atlanta resident and ...

Book Review: Emotional Life

BOOK REVIEW.
“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions, I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” That quote from Oscar Wilde is how psychologist Doreen Davy kicks off Emotional Life: Managing Your Feelings to Make the Most of Your Precious Time on Earth. Whether an experience is good or bad ...

Is That Me Yelling? A Parent’s Guide

BOOK REVIEW.
"I never imagined that I would have a child who talks back to me and thinks she’s the boss of everyone. How did that happen, and what am I supposed to do now?" So asks Brice, a psychologist and parent of a 7-year-old child, in Rona Renner’s Is That Me Yelling? A Parent’s Guide to Getting Your ...