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A Family Approach to Psychiatric Disorders

Richard A. Perlmutter, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-198-9
  • Item #62198

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A Family Approach to Psychiatric Disorders reflects the remarkable changes in both psychiatry and family therapy over the past several decades. As Lyman C. Wynne, M.D., Ph.D., states in the Foreword, the book forges together psychiatric diagnosis and family therapy, bridging a gap created by the erroneous belief that these two realms are somehow incompatible. Rather than being blamed for the patient's illness, the family is treated as a focus for concern, study, and understanding. A chapter on family therapy is presented for each of the major DSM-IV disorders. The book also covers important but often neglected topics such as intimacy, emotions, countertransference traps, gender, ethnicity, and family loyalty.

Trainees as well as seasoned mental health professionals will find this text indispensable when working with families of patients with psychiatric disorders. Family and individual therapists will find it equally valuable. By demonstrating a perspective that looks beyond an individual's presenting symptoms and by shedding light on the impact of the individual's problems on the rest of the family, A Family Approach to Psychiatric Disorders offers all practitioners the opportunity to increase their clinical effectiveness.


  • A treatment synthesis. Getting started. Adjustment disorders. Mood disorders. Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders. Substance-related disorders. Anxiety disorders. Eating disorders. Somatoform disorders. Factitious disorders. Dissociative disorders. Sleep disorders. Sexual and gender identity disorders. Delirium, dementia, and amnestic and other cognitive disorders. Impulse disorders not elsewhere classified. Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or adolescence. Personality disorders. Glossary. Index.

About the Authors

Richard A. Perlmutter, M.D., is Senior Psychiatrist at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital, Towson, Maryland, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. He is also an Approved Supervisor, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists; and a member of the American Family Therapy Academy.

Overall, I would recommend this book for trainees, teachers of family therapy and those wanting to understand toe place of the family in psychiatric practice.—Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry

The purpose of Richard Perlmutter's A Family Approach to Psychiatric Disorders is to provide a bridge for communication, interaction, and understanding between the practitioners of individual approaches and the practitioners of family approaches to psychiatric disorders. . . . Perlmutter achieves his purpose. The book is readable and remarkably jargon free. Practitioners of individual therapies will find it helpful in understanding the work of family therapists and in recognizing how they might better integrate their work with that of family practitioners, to their patients' gain. Family therapists will similarly benefit in understanding how to better communicate and integrate their work with that of their colleagues who practice individual therapies.—Psychiatric Services

This is a pathfinding and outstanding contribution to the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with mental disorders. The family movement in America has empowered families. With this text in hand, therapists and families can work together more effectively to care for the mentally ill. Every mental health professional's library should contain A Family Approach to Psychiatric Disorders.Steven S. Sharfstein, M.D, President, Medical Director, and Chief Executive Officer, Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Health System, Baltimore, Maryland

Brilliant and groundbreaking! Dr. Perlmutter has done what no other single author has accomplished—namely, bridging the near half-century gap between biomedical psychiatry and family systems theory and practice—and has done it masterfully to the benefit of both disciplines.—A. W. Richard Sipe, Author of Sex, Priests, and Power: Anatomy of a Crisis

Chock full of countless vignettes, intervention strategies, and useful linguistic frames, A Family Approach to Psychiatric Disorders will be of immense value to both trainees and experienced therapists who wish to deepen their understanding of family systems and to be better versed in the psychiatric dimensions of family problems. Every reader will gain a deeper appreciation for the interconnectedness of illness and family patterns. After completing this book, no reader will be able to contemplate psychiatric illness, without simultaneously visualizing the family members whose struggles also inhabit the patient's world.—Israela Meyerstein, L.C.S.W.C., Director of Clinical Training, Family and Marriage Therapy Program, The Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland

In all A Family Approach to Psychiatric Disorders is well written, well organized and a useful addition to any family therapist's bookshelf. The bibliographies are located at the end of each chapter—right where you need them.—Journal of Feminist Family Therapy

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