Interpersonal Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorders

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Guilford Press, 1996 - Psychology - 431 pages
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Bringing intellectual rigor and discipline to the art of psychotherapy, Lorna Smith Benjamin has developed a unifying theory of personality disorders that has unprecedented clinical relevance. This groundbreaking volume presents an interpersonal approach that will enable therapists of all theoretical orientations to increase their effectiveness and reduce their frustration in working with this very difficult population. The book opens with an introduction to the interpersonal approach and to the Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB) developed by Dr. Benjamin. This dimensional model of interpersonal and intrapsychic interactions can be used to assess patients, their families, and their therapists to determine the specific ways in which they interact with and influence one another. In the sections that follow, each of the DSM personality disorders is sharply delineated in a finely tuned description that is greatly enhanced by Dr. Benjamin's interpersonal approach and clinical insights. Adding an extensive and clinically useful list of descriptive amendments to the DSM criteria, she provides a sophisticated differential diagnosis that greatly reduces the problem of overlap in symptoms that frequently occurs when using the DSM rules alone. Expected transference reactions, developmental histories, and probable underlying motivations are also explored in detail. Throughout, the volume is rich with clinical material that specifically illustrates the interviewing method, the diagnostic process, and treatment interventions. Dr. Benjamin also presents hypotheses concerning the development of crucial interpersonal relationships which may explain the patient's current behavior. Suchunderstanding provides perhaps the most valuable clues on how best to interact with and treat these patients. A major breakthrough in the treatment of personality disorders, this important work will be an invaluable resource for all clinicians - behavioral, psychodynamic, and eclectic -

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About the author (1996)

After many years of clinical work in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, Lorna Smith Benjamin moved to the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah to collaborate with graduate students in the research study of psychosocial factors in mental disorder. A past president of the International Society for Psychotherapy Research and an advisor to the DSM-IV work group on personality disorders, she is author of over 50 professional publications. Her SASB model of interpersonal relations has been translated into ten different languages. The associated coding system, questionnaires, and software are widely used in efforts to enhance scientific understanding of the practice of psychotherapy. Her dream is to use the concepts described in this book to guide development of a high-quality, low-cost research and training center that emphasizes efficacy in psychosocial treatment of major mental disorders.

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