Clinical Text Book Reviews

Reviews of Neuroscience & Clinical Text Books

DSM-5 Clinical Cases
by John W. Barnhill

This is one of the best supplemental book for the DSM-5 desk reference text you could get that wonderfully fleshes out the cases that demonstrate differential diagnosis, clinical assessment and treatment planning. Clearly written, excellent examples and well laid-out, this text will help clinical students and clinical therapists who have been in the field forever. Excellent book! - 5 stars
DSM-5 in Action 3rd Edition
by Sophia F. Dziegielewski

Very good book! The author did a great job in breaking out key sections that showed the differences between the DSM IV-TR and the DSM 5; further, the case examples and proposed treatment plans were also very well done and would easily provide students with solid illustrative points of differential diagnosis and treatment. This text is good for first year graduate students and seasoned clinicians alike.  Great job! - 5 stars  

​Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Second Edition: Basics and Beyond
by Judith S. Beck  (Author), Aaron T. Beck (Foreword)

Excellent book for CBT beginners! Principles and mock clinical interviews make this an excellent book for graduate students needing a basic understanding of CBT interviews, applications, data analysis, treatment strategies and goals. I also really like how the book set up boxes highlighting key points! Excellent book. The condition and seller were great too! – 5 stars

Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria from the DSM-5
by American Psychiatric Association (Author)

While I own the larger one and teach graduate studies from the full DSM-5, I needed a pocket one for diagnosing clients while at work. Both compact and clearly delineated information in pocket size version of the DSM-5, it has both the F and DSM-5 codes that are often required for billing. It's a great smaller version of a needed text while in the clinical field seeing clients. – 5 stars

The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Social Brain (Second Edition) (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) 
by Louis Cozolino (Author)

This is the 2014 version of Dr. Cozolino's work - still as well written and easy to read as its 2006 predecessor. The big difference is more data driven material and up to date neuroscience and neurobiology. So how he was able to improve on it? This is an excellent read for graduate students and anyone who wants to have a thorough understanding of why we think therapy works and why people do what they do. – 5 stars

The Developing Mind, Second Edition: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are
By Daniel J. Siegel (Author)

Excellent book! This is not for the easily distracted, late at nights reads, or a study guide after your second glass of wine. It's a serious, in your face, early morning and third cup of coffee serious clinician's book for understanding the neuroscience, neurobiology, and existential algorithms that translates into the thing we call the "mind." While it's not my first day on the job reading such texts, let’s just say I very much appreciate the little gray bubbles that contains the one to two sentences that summarizes critical points. Just an excellent book! – 5 stars

Clinical Psychopharmacology Made Ridiculously Easy.
By John Preston (Author)

The main reason I wanted this small book was so that I could a) present a small novel to clients who might be interested in reading something about medication, and b) so when I am in a hurry, I can quickly reference something that can explain medication in layman's terms. It is not meant to be a thorough psycho-pharmacological reference book (as in the PDR) but it does a good job if you want to reference a quick, easy to understand medication book. – 5 stars

Neuroscience of Clinical Psychiatry: The Pathophysiology of Behavior and Mental Illness,
Second Edition
by Edmund S. Higgins MD (Author), Mark S. George MD (Author)

This is a very good book especially for undergraduate level students or as a primer for graduate students interested in understanding the role of neurobiology and neuroscience in regards to mental illness and psychopathology; this means looking at brain structure and functions as it relates to thoughts feelings and behaviors ranging from the neuro-typical to the pathological. Very good book. – 5 stars

Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, Third Edition Paperback 
by Robert M. Sapolsky  (Author)

This is where I really get “geeky” or over the top excited! This is a classic – by that I mean this is a text book that is easy to read, filled with information regarding the brain, autonomic system, fight, flight responses, stress, and it all is easy to read, understand and fits nicely with psychopathology courses I have taught over the years to graduate students. Further, this is one of the only books I've read where the footnotes have note, and these notes are so interesting that I need to make an effort to read the book first, re-read the foot notes and notes, and then took notes to use for teaching. Clearly it's not Dr. Sapolsky's first day on the job! Further, while this is an older version, the enclosed material is still applicable today. Excellent book and highly recommended! – 5 stars

The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Building and Rebuilding the Human Brain (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) 1st Edition
by Louis Cozolino (Author)

Similar to Dr. Sapolsky's work (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers), this book is excellent in that it makes understanding the brain, how it works and how it relates to thoughts, feelings and behaviors in regards to development and abnormal psychology, all easy for graduate level students to thoroughly understand. I've been using this book and Conzolino's other book (The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Social Brain) for years now and find its work, research and application still relevant both to students and clients. In addition, this book is both affordable and easy to understand. Highly recommend! – 5 stars

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain Hardcover 
by John J. Ratey  (Author), Eric Hagerman  (Contributor)

I needed a book to explain how the brain ins affected by things such as exercise, positive thinking and positive peer relations. This is an easy to understand book for lay people and was particular good for my clients to understand certain aspects of their treatment. Good book, well organized. Recommend for non-professionals and people very new to the field. – 4 stars

Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual: (PDM) Paperback
by Alliance of Psychoanalytic Organizations (Author)

This manual is based on current neuroscience and treatment outcome studies that demonstrate the importance of focusing on the full range and depth of emotional and social functioning. Beginning with a classification of the spectrum of personality patterns and disorders found in individuals and then describing a profile of mental functioning that permits a clinician to look in detail at each of the patient's capacities, the entries include a description of the patient's symptoms with a focus on the patient's internal experiences as well as surface behaviors. Intended to expand on the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and ICD (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems) efforts in cataloging the symptoms and behaviors of mental health patients, this manual opens the door to a fuller understanding of the functioning of the mind, brain, and their development. – 5 stars

Abnormal Psychology: Core Concepts (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition
by James N. Butcher (Author), Susan M. Mineka (Author), Jill M. Hooley (Author)

I bought this book last year to review as core text book for my psychopathology course - it had everything I needed such as key concepts, solid examples, excellently organized, easy to follow and very thorough. I especially appreciated the lack of fluff and the focus on important concepts, diagnostic criteria and how it related to the DSM IV TR (at the time). This is an excellent book and I use to presently to review the concepts of mental illness, organization of mental disorders, and review of criteria for graduate level students. I have also incorporated the material in some fiction for my main characters. Excellent read and great text book. – 5 stars

Topic of Cancer: Riding the Waves of the Big C
Kindle Edition
by Meg Stafford  (Author)

This is an excellent book for anyone who has a loved one going through cancer treatment and is trying to see what it might be like; the ups and downs, moments of doubt, courage and strength, the need for reflection, sense of humor, and a support system of caring, supportive people. As a therapist I would recommend this first person account to anyone about to go through treatment or witness it as a look inside of how a well equipped woman managed her breast cancer and at the same time gives insights as to what one can do to keep your life moving forward and not let cancer be your identity. Highly recommend! – 5 stars

Principles of Trauma Therapy: A Guide to Symptoms, Evaluation, and Treatment 2 Rev Exp Edition
by John N. (Neale) Briere (Author), Catherine Scott (Author)

As a professor teaching post traumatic stress reaction to graduate and undergraduate students, I was looking for a book that hit the basics along with some key pieces regarding assessment, diagnostic criteria, and examples that highlighted some of the subtleties associated with complex trauma. This book is well organized and not too overwhelming for people new and beginning the field and a nice refresher for seasoned clinicians. Easy to read, clearly outlined to build upon each subject, I found it both a solid read, affordable, and made it a required read for my course. (Please note that I purchased this book way back October 12, 2013 but only now getting to put my thoughts in writing.) – 5 stars

The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment And the Developing Social Brain (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) 1st Edition
by Louis Cozolino (Author)

This book by Dr. Cozolino answers that question that I pose to my graduate level students ever time I teach psychopathology and how to use the DSM 5. Similar to his other work (The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Building and Rebuilding the Human Brain), he does an excellent job clarify how the brain works, and how it ll relates to both environment and biology in forming personalities. Further this book does allow the reader to access what is often consider a “soft science” with research and more hard core data to back it up. Highly recommend! – 5 stars

Abnormal Psychology: 15th Edition
by James N. Butcher (Author), Susan M Mineka (Author), Jill M. Hooley (Author)

I really liked this book as it had a great deal of information, updated (at that time), and perfect for graduate students who had some familiarity with psychopathology and mental illness but could still benefit from review. Book was very well written, organized and very easy to use. I had considered it for undergraduate level but found it might be too overwhelming for them (800+ pages). Good illustrations and case studies, the only drawback at the time was the price ($190) but it has dropped considerably. I would readily incorporate it into my curriculum as an affordable text. – 4 stars

How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist
Kindle Edition

by Andrew Newberg M.D. (Author), Mark Robert Waldman (Author)
I originally purchased this book as research for character development for a protagonist in my novels. While I did indeed use this as research, I found it personally rewarding and enlightening both as a professional therapist and as a human being. I got much more out of it than I expected and especially appreciated the research that went into this piece of work. Highly recommend for anyone! – 5 stars

Addressing Cultural Complexities in Practice: Assessment, Diagnosis, and Therapy (Hardcover)
by Pamela A., Ph.D. Hays (Author)

This book was a good overview of cross cultural counseling and competency for clinicians. A good book for beginners and it works for cuing in novice students to the importance of understanding class, power and culture. Well organized and I would recommend. (Disclaimer – I have taught this type of class before and may be a harsh critic). – 4 stars

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition:
by American Psychiatric Association (Author)

The DSM keeps getting better and better! I've been using the DSM since the green covered DSM III (ah to be young again). The much improved DSM 5 does an excellent job cross referencing its codes with the ICD 11; in regards to mental illness organization its improved as well. The Schizophrenia Spectrum and Autism Spectrum make a great deal of sense (I was hoping they would have kept Aspergers Syndrome and Added NLD - Nonverbal Learning Disabilities to the Autism Spectrum but so it goes). I where they placed the Diagnostic Criteria of the mental illness right at the very beginning of each section followed by the diagnostic features and then a few sections after Differential Diagnosis & Comorbidity.  Excellent idea of breaking up the Depressive disorders from the Bipolar and Related Disorders; excellent changing Mental Retardation (from DSM IV TR) to Intellectual Disability, and the addition of Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder. I think by the time they get to DSV 8 they will have gotten it perfect. – 5 stars

Abnormal Psychology: 10th Edition
by Ann M. Kring (Author), Gerald C. Davison  (Author), John M. Neale  (Author), Sheri L. Johnson  (Author)

This was one of many books that I ended up reviewing for teaching psychology class for both graduate and undergraduate studies. I found this book a very good selection for undergraduate studies. It was well organized, very good overview and a solid tie into the DSMVI TR at the time. While there might have been some dated material, I expect that in text books and outside material nicely supplemented where it might have been lacking. Excellent study guides and summaries for professors! Very good book! – 5 stars

Abnormal Psychology: 6th Edition
by Thomas F. Oltmanns  (Author), Robert E. Emery  (Author)

I bought this book last summer with a number of other books on the subject. At the time I was looking for a text book for undergraduate level students that were interested in pursuing graduate level program in mental health. This book was a solid book in that it outlined history of psychiatry, mental illness treatment over the years and how categories of diagnosis were developed. At the time, it provided good examples and correlated with the DSM IV TR topics and diagnostic criteria. While the DSM IV TR is now dated, the subject matter such as history, strategies and case studies is still applicable; further, the price of the text books for students is excellent. Very good book - recommend for students new to the field. – 5 stars

Counseling the Culturally Diverse: Theory and Practice 5th Edition
by Derald Wing Sue  (Author), David Sue  (Author)

I found myself teaching a cultural competence class for new therapists in the field of providing therapy to diverse clients. I found the book organized well and easy to follow. It was a good book for presenting some ideas and thoughts for new graduate level students to consider when working with people different from themselves. I found this book more a a launch point for discussion that was not racially or politically charged, and the core stuff was brought in outside of the book. As a result this book allowed for a “safe start” which eventually led to real difficult discussion later in class. Recommend for an introduction of a potentially highly charged discussion. – 3 stars

Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions: 7th Edition
by Gerald Corey  (Author), Marianne Schneider Corey  (Author), Patrick Callanan  (Author)

I taught an Ethics Class for Mental Health providers (graduate level students) and reviewed a number of books. This was my final choice as it was well organized, clear, had relevant examples, and clearly provided a framework as to how to ethically, professionally and professional conduct clinical business and working with clients. I did find the examples (case studies) good launching points to discuss in class and to present dilemmas for students to work through. Again, as we are dealing with students, the text's price was also a factor in assigning this edition. I would recommend this book to any student considering going into the field as a means of understanding appropriate professional behaviors. – 5 stars

How to Be Invisible: The Essential Guide to Protecting Your Personal Privacy, Your Assets, and Your Life (Revised Edition) (Hardcover)
by J. J. Luna  (Author)

As both a therapist and a fiction writer, I often have to explain or write about many things I just don't understand and have no clue as to what to do next. As an example, I needed to figure out how a person might want to disappear, step-by-steps, and how they might be found. Also, this book was instructional in giving examples and rational for why someone might want to hide. The book was very easy to understand by this novice and well organized for me to follow research and return to when I need to figure something out. High recommend! – 4 stars