Friday, April 22, 2011

PsycCritiques Review of "How Dysfunctional Families Spur Mental Disorders"

My book was recently reviewed in the American Psychological Association's main book review journal, PsycCritiques.  The reviewer didn't like the book's title as he felt it did not accurately reflect the contents.  I hate coming up with titles for books! 

Anyway, the reviewer, family psychologist Dr. Scott K. Shimabukuro, liked what was inside the book.  The whole review is only available for a price, but here are some excerpts:

"It is not that this book does not discuss how family dysfunction relates to mental disorders, but rather that it also spends a considerable amount of time on other more distantly related topics such as Big Pharma propaganda or biased research and publications, Reaganomics and mental health, the nature versus nurture debate, managed care, neurology, evolutionary theory, what evidence-based treatments really are, how the women’s movement affected families, and differing schools of psychotherapy, along with the topic of families and their relationship to a family member with a disorder...

"...A moderately well-read professional in the field will be more than familiar with the majority of the material presented here but would certainly not have seen it within the covers of a single book. Lay readers will be glued to the pages as Allen takes them on a journey that spans the molecules of neurotransmitters to the belief system of eugenics in the United States and Germany. Somewhat reminiscent of books like Freakonomics that cover a wide range of topic areas that revolve loosely around a theme, Allen’s book uses family dysfunction as a vehicle on which many other interesting commentaries can ride. And this is where the book gets fun...

"...Allen never forgets that there is no simple answer, and therefore readers not comfortable with the gradations of gray will be unsatisfied. In the real world, biology changes the environment, and the environment changes biology; therefore, any simple biology-plus-environment arithmetic does not suffice—a fact that Allen does not forget. The book goes on to discuss the related issue of whom to blame, if anyone at all, when a family member has a mental disorder.

"...If, however, I consider it as an exposé of the field for general public consumption, I would highly recommend it. It pulls the curtain back from the world of psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and more. It is an informative and entertaining collection of the many facets of the field. I know that from time to time, I will be pulling this book back off the shelf to peruse a favorite chapter or two."

No comments:

Post a Comment