Book Reviews

Books on: ADHDAnxietyBipolarDepressionMemoirsOCDPTSD


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

Book Review: Unhinged

January 28th, 2015
Anna Berry’s Unhinged is an intense read -- a personal, in-depth account of the heartbreaking and grueling components of a life with mental illness. However, a pertinent takeaway message for readers is the optimistic road to recovery — one that doesn’t necessarily have to involve medication. Unhinged delves into Berry’s painful history with mental illness. The ...

Nerdy, Shy & Socially Inappropriate: A User Guide to an Asperger Life

BOOK REVIEW.
After reading Cynthia Kim’s account of growing up on the autism spectrum without knowing it, I would add “painfully honest” to the subtitle of her book. Which, I might further add, makes her story even better. As a child Kim knew she was different from other kids. She waited to grow out of the shyness and awkwardness, but those traits never dissipated. What ...

The Power of Positive Confrontation

BOOK REVIEW.
How many times a week do you check your own body language or think over how you’ve said something to a coworker or acquaintance? For Barbara Pachter, a business coach, author, and adjunct at Rutgers University, it’s important to be in tune with not only your body language but tone of voice, word choice, and gestures. An ...

Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work with Kids & Teens

BOOK REVIEW.
For many of us, large department stores like Macy’s can lead to sensory overload. We walk in and are assaulted by bright lights, crowds, noisy customers, colors everywhere, and the smell of very strong perfume. For me, personally, I know that if I stay too long I can begin to feel trapped, frustrated, or overwhelmed. You might also ...

Book Review: Nineteen Minutes

BOOK REVIEW.
“To the thousands of kids out there who are a little bit different, a little bit scared, a little bit unpopular: this one’s for you.” So writes Jodi Picoult in the acknowledgments section of Nineteen Minutes, a novel that thoroughly dissects a school shooting. In the book, Picoult surfaces empathy in unexpected places — empathy for the shooter and empathy ...

Your Inner Will: Finding Personal Strength in Critical Times

BOOK REVIEW.
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” That’s according to Mahatma Gandhi — one of many famous speakers on the amorphous concept of the human will. The notion that we have control over our mind and its actions may be intangible, but we’ve all had experiences that test it: finishing a marathon, studying ...

Psychopharmacology Problem Solving: Principles & Practices to Get It Right

BOOK REVIEW.
A longstanding debate in the field of psychology is whether or not psychologists — specifically, PhDs and PsyDs who serve in a clinical capacity — should, like psychiatrists (who have MDs), be able to prescribe medication. At present, two states permit prescriptive authority for appropriately trained psychologists: New Mexico and Louisiana, with more states on the horizon ...

What the Fork Are You Eating? An Action Plan for Your Pantry & Plate

BOOK REVIEW.
Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are. —Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin What’s in your fridge right now? Your kitchen cupboards? Go ahead — open the door and take a peek. I’ll do the same. Some of it I’m happy to share publicly. The fridge is filled with a variety of vegetables and fruits — apples, ...

How to Be Alone

BOOK REVIEW.
I often spend at least twelve hours a day being very much in the presence of others. Caring for patients, discussing cases with attending doctors, interacting with nurses and social workers, and then going back to talk with patients again, my day is spent in a series of often intense human interactions. Add to the human ...

More Transforming Negative Self-Talk: Practical, Effective Exercises

BOOK REVIEW.
“I can’t believe you just did that. How could you have said something so stupid? I mean, seriously, how could you be such an idiot? Where did you graduate from again? Did you graduate? You shouldn’t be here. You’re dangerous.” It was my second shift as an intern in the ER and I was telling ...

The Compass of Now

BOOK REVIEW.
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 ...