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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. Such understanding 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 - working with this challenging population. It also offers researchers a method to dissect and study more objectively vitally important problems in psychosocial diagnosis and treatment. This volume will serve as an excellent text for psychiatric residencies and graduate courses in psychopathology, personality and personality disorders, psychotherapy, and assessment and diagnosis.
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