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Essentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis, First Edition: Responding to the Challenge of DSM-5 [Paperback]

Allen Frances
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

14 Jun 2013 1462510493 978-1462510498 1
Grounded in author Allen Frances's extensive clinical experience, this practical guide helps the busy clinician find the right psychiatric diagnosis and avoid the many pitfalls that lead to errors. Covering every disorder routinely encountered in clinical practice, Frances provides the appropriate ICD-9-CM code for each one (the same code utilized in the DSM), a useful screening question, a colorful descriptive prototype, lucid diagnostic tips, and a discussion of other disorders that must be ruled out. The book closes with an index of the most common presenting symptoms, listing possible diagnoses that must be considered for each. Frances was instrumental in the development of past editions of the DSM and provides helpful cautions on questionable aspects of DSM-5.

Frequently Bought Together

Essentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis, First Edition: Responding to the Challenge of DSM-5 + Saving Normal: An Insider's Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life + The Intelligent Clinician's Guide to the DSM-5
Price For All Three: 54.09

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Product details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Guilford Press; 1 edition (14 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1462510493
  • ISBN-13: 978-1462510498
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 16.4 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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""Essentials of Psychiatric Diagnosis" is simply the best book I've read about how to accurately diagnose your patients. Frances's combination of vast experience, down-in-the-trenches common sense, and informed skepticism is unique. Whether you're a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, nurse, crisis counselor, or any other mental health professional, you should buy this book, read it cover to cover initially, and then keep it in your office to refer back to frequently. I'm glad this book had not been published before I wrote my book on the psychiatric interview, because the competition would have made me choose a different topic!"--Daniel J. Carlat, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine; Founding Editor, "The Carlat Psychiatry Report" "With his clinical expertise, leadership roles in prior DSM editions, and healthy skepticism about overdiagnosis and excessive medication, Frances has crafted a clinical gem. This clear and concise book describes a sequential assessment process and provides screening questions, easily remembered prototypic descriptions, differential diagnostic considerations, and cautionary notes about diagnostic traps. Frances recognizes the need for a diagnosis to guide intervention, while steering clear of diagnostic reification. All clinicians need this book for frequent reference, and it should be a required text in mental health training programs."--John F. Clarkin, PhD, Personality Disorders Institute, New York Presbyterian Hospital; Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College "This easy-to-read, commonsensical handbook guides mental health clinicians through the thicket of differential diagnosis in psychiatry. Frances--a thoughtful and effective critic of the excesses of DSM-5--shows where diagnosis is valid and essential, and where a premature diagnosis or a diagnostic fad has the potential to hurt patients. Everyone who uses diagnosis in daily practice will benefit from the down

About the Author

Allen Frances, MD, is a clinician, educator, researcher, and leading authority on psychiatric diagnosis. He chaired the DSM-IV Task Force, was a member of the Task Force that prepared DSM-III-R, and wrote the final version of the Personality Disorders section in DSM-III. The author of several hundred papers and more than a dozen books, most recently Saving Normal: An Insider's Revolt against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life, Dr. Frances is Professor Emeritus and former Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University. He is an active blogger for The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and Education Update.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars accessible guide to mental disorders 21 Sep 2013
I was a bit apprehensive at first, as the title sounds somewhat technical and forbidding, but I soon found out that it is highly readable for lay readers. Each chapter for a specific mental disorder has very clear signposting including a screening question, description of a prototype case, and differential criteria to distinguish the condition from separate, but similar ones, or, indeed, from the fringes of normal behaviour. The last distinction is possibly the most important one, as the risk that all variability in human behaviour may get labelled pigeon-holed into psychiatric categories and treated with drugs provided by an all too eager pharmaceutical industry is a growing concern.

The book is "meant for everybody with an interest in psychiatric diagnosis" - not just medical professionals and students, but also anybody who cares about a person who may have mental health problems. Recognizing problems early can save lives. And as some of these disorders seem to be spreading, the target audience may well include most of us.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You'll still need the DSM-5 27 May 2013
By T. E. Vondracek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was promoted as an alternative to buying the DSM-5. The author has advertised in publications that mental health professionals do not need to be held captive by the APA and buy the DSM-5 in order to continue to use the correct codes when making a mental health diagnosis. Unfortunately, if you are billing for services you will still need the DSM-5.

In the forward he confirms that not all of the diagnoses contained in the DSM-5 are contained in this book. The content also uses prototypal descriptions of conditions rather than the listing of criteria. Although this may be helpful in understanding mental health conditions the information on meeting criteria for a diagnosis is missing. For example, for some diagnoses a person must present with four of the possible nine criteria. If the criteria are not listed, how can a professional know if the person meets the criteria? You need the DSM-5 to get that information.

If you can purchase it for a nominal fee, the screening questions, cautions, and descriptions might be helpful; however, the content is clearly a platform to express an opinion that seeks to refute the validity of the DSM-5. I did not purchase the book to learn about the author's opinion. I purchased the book to use as an alternative to the DSM-5 (as promoted). At full price I feel cheated. I still have to get the DSM-5.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book! 29 May 2013
By Karyn Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This book provides concise, well-written descriptions of mental disorders. The diagnostic tips are extremely helpful in understanding and make accurate diagnoses. This book was written by someone with extensive clinical experience (Dr. Frances) - yet, Dr. Francis was able to describe mental disorders in a non-medical language that clinicians from all mental health professions will understand and appreciate. This book is up-to-date, relevant, and much-needed! I will use this book often!!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to have in your library 22 July 2013
By Julie A. McEvers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very well done book for any one who wants to review psychiatric diagnoses and coding. I recommend it for all practitioners if questioning appropriate code in the psych field. Some very important points he makes, maybe the most important points I read in this book were "beware of changes introduced by DSM-5 that encourage diagnostic inflation" and when in doubt it is "safer to underdiagnosis than overdiagnose".
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yes and No 29 July 2013
By Caryn Landy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Allen Frances writes with bitterness. I would prefer to hear less bitterness. It doesn't necessarily invalidate his perspectives, but it makes the reading uncomfortable and sharing his perspectives more difficult, even if true. Change is upon us and, like it or not, we must attempt to understand it. There were many who did not like the DSM IV or feel the DSM IV-TR was useful or necessary. Even if I agreed with those sentiments, I nonetheless needed to utilize those reference books on a professional basis. Similarly, this new DSM system may turn out to be a complete mess, but I still need to learn how best to work with it. So, while I am always glad to consider another opinion and, over time, his may prove to be prescient, this book does not make moving into the required change easier. I'm not sorry to have it or to have read it. If one is hoping for something to spur ones enthusiasm for making the necessary changes, this book is probably not what one will want for that purpose.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 13 Aug 2013
By Ed - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I do behavioral research and I love how useful this book. It is filled with jargon and isn't worded in the most understandable way, so the information may not be accessible to everyone. However, if you are heavily involved in the psychology/ psychiatry field I highly recommend it. I mean, you really don't need my review to tell you how well accepted this book is by the behavior world, but seriously, the book is great. There are flaws with the diagnostic system, for which I recommend getting an intelligent how to decipher guide for which ever field you are in (clinical, research, etc).
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