Julia's Reviews > Interpersonal Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorders

Interpersonal Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorders by Lorna Smith Benjamin
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Sep 04, 10

bookshelves: clinical-work
Read in August, 2010

For my first two years of grad school, I pretty much resisted putting assigned readings on goodreads. That wasn't too hard; much of my reading involves journal articles, not books. But, fuck it. I realized that, particularly with regard to clinical work, chronicling what I read for posterity may be interesting and/or useful for me later (I doubt it's interesting for anyone else).

So, with that said, this book is the pretty much the bible of Axis II. If you work in mental health, and you've ever felt overwhelmed by the implications of an "Axis II flavor" in one of your clients, or irritated at the high comorbidity and fuzzy diagnostic labels in the DSM, or you're at all fascinated by interpersonal processes, this book will be nothing short of a miracle.

I'm taking Lorna's class in Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy in the inpatient unit of a neuropsychiatric hospital this year, and even without experiencing her exceptional mind in person, I'd recommend this book, without hesitation or reservation, to anyone who does clinical work. Lorna's theory of disordered personalities is cohesive, eloquent, parsimonious, and, moreover, when put into practice, it works on the clients for whom no one thinks anything will work. I'm working with men who have committed child sex offenses this year, and have already repeatedly reconsulted chapters, and always found a nugget of wisdom I pray I'm going to be able to render clinically useful.
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