IPT Book Reviews

Title: DSM-IV Training Guide
Authors: William H. Reid and Michael G. Wise
Publisher: Brunner/Mazel, Inc., 1995

Brunner/Mazel, Inc.
19 Union Square West
New York, NY 10003
(800) 825-3089
$26.95 (c)

For those who must make diagnostic decisions or who may be interested in research relating to diagnosis, this 347-page training guide can be a helpful adjunct to the DSM-IV manual. This represents another forward step in the effort to make diagnosis more valid and reliable. Earlier diagnostic nosologies, i.e. "gray book" or "gold book," had no accompanying training guides but were taught by doing. With book in hand, case conferences, grand rounds, and supervisory sessions were the places where diagnosis was made, by and large, by intuition. The earlier descriptions of the putative disease entity were vague, nonspecific, and suggestive of largely subjective impressions. Having a guide such as this, if properly used, can only assist in improving the notorious unreliability of psychiatric diagnosis. An additional useful feature is a listing of DSM-IV and corresponding ICD-10 classifications.

The first section of the book includes a concise summary of the way to use DSM-IV. There is a brief history of the development of the successive editions of the DSM. The central feature of DSM, the multiaxial classification scheme, is carefully explained with good illustrations. The inclusion of case vignettes which are short but sufficient to give practice in making a diagnostic decision adds to the utility of working through this book. The second section covers all of the disorders contained in DSM-IV. The clinician or researcher will find sufficient information and discussion to produce most diagnoses with a close approximation of the individual classification rubrics. This training manual should be used in conjunction with DSM-IV in any classes teaching aspiring mental health professionals. It should also be in the library of practicing clinicians and researchers as a clear, succinct summary of the classifications that can be referred to as needed.

Reviewed by Ralph Underwager, Institute for Psychological Therapies, Northfield, Minnesota.

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