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Positive Psychiatry: A Clinical Handbook
Jeste, Dilip V., M.D. and Barton W. Palmer, Ph.D. (Eds)
American Psychiatric Press / Softcover / 2015-04-01 / 1585624950
Psychiatry / Positive Psychology
price: $92.50
385 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

Long overdue, Positive Psychiatry provides a rigorous and clinically useful guide to the growing body of research that strongly suggests that positive psychosocial factors such as resilience, optimism, and social engagement are associated with better outcomes, including lower morbidity, greater longevity, and a heightened sense of patient well-being. Because most of the research has been conducted outside of the field of psychiatry, it has had relatively little influence on everyday clinical practice.

This volume, written and edited by luminaries in the field, hopes to remedy this situation by introducing clinicians to the guiding principles of positive psychiatry, which hold that mental health cannot be defined as the mere reduction or even elimination of mental illness, and that mental health professionals must focus on more than simply controlling the symptoms of illness. To that end, the book, while biologically grounded and exhaustively referenced, is also structured and written to be accessible. It includes many useful features:

* Bulleted outlines of key clinical points are included where appropriate, fostering direct application of positive psychiatry constructs, measures, interventions, and outcomes into clinical practice and training.

* An abundance of interesting and compelling clinical vignettes illustrate how to incorporate positive psychiatry techniques and treatment strategies into practice.

* Comprehensive coverage makes this volume the "go-to" resource for researchers and clinicians seeking an overview and details of what positive psychiatry is, why it is needed, and how to integrate it into research, practice, and training.

* The roster of contributors is a "who's who" in the field of positive mental health, rendering this the definitive source of information on positive psychiatry. Chief among the book's strengths is its emphasis on empirically grounded applications, and the editors have ensured that limitations in the available evidence base are identified, as well as directions for further research. Positive Psychiatry fills a critical gap in the treatment literature, and researchers, clinicians, and trainees in psychiatry and allied mental health fields will welcome its publication.


A wonderful shift in psychiatry and mental health care is upon us. In addition to addressing the suffering that psychiatric illness inflicts on our patients, we can also embrace strategies to help others pursue mental health and well-being, an arena not often addressed in psychiatric care. Discovery of the roots of resilience, the benefits of gratitude, and ways to engage PERMA: positive emotion, engagement, good relationships, meaning, and accomplishment, are some of the offerings available in this book. Rooted in positive psychology but transformed in this well-written tome, this new approach to healing is timely and welcome. We stand to have our field, in addition to our individual patients and ourselves, flourish. --Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Vice-Chair for Education, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University

Reductionistic paradigms are used to generate knowledge in psychiatry creating a challenge for clinical application in a broad and humanistic framework. Positive psychiatry informs a clinical approach to persons with a mental disorder or at high risk for developing psychopathology. While the World Health Organization gives emphasis to quality of life years, health care in the United States falls far short of an effective focus on promotion of well-being. Positive psychiatry, as defined and richly described in this text, provides clear guidance for a paradigm shift in psychiatry. While maintaining the field s central focus on mental disorder, clinical care implications go beyond diagnosis and treatment. The additional emphasis on positive psychosocial factors including resiliency, optimism, social engagement, and personal strengths have broad implications for health in general, and alleviation of suffering and dysfunction associated with mental disorders. It also provides a broad and friendly model for addressing high risk patients as the field moves rapidly towards early detection and intervention. Positive Psychiatry is a wonderful read at a time when clinical practice in psychiatry is restricted in time and definition of role. --William T. Carpenter, Jr., M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine

This thought provoking book is a wakeup call for all mental health professionals. It makes a compelling case for the clinical approach in psychiatry to shift from an emphasis on disease models to positive psychiatry. In this creatively compiled volume, the contributors highlight the endeavors of mental health clinicians to go beyond just symptom control to promote a sense of wellbeing. Spread over 16 chapters, the editors have introduced a road map to facilitate this shift while deliberating on a broad range of clinical and ethical facets of the concept of Positive Psychiatry, applicable across the age spectrum. This is, indeed, essential reading for every clinician. --Vihang N. Vahia, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry

About the Editors:

Dilip V. Jeste, M.D., is Senior Associate Dean for Healthy Aging and Senior Care; Estelle and Edgar Levi Chair in Aging; Director, Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging; and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego in La Jolla, California.

Barton W. Palmer, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla, California.

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