Andrew R. Getzfeld received his B.A. in Psychology from Vassar College, his M.S.S.W. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He is a frequent presenter at APA and NASP, and has chaired poster sessions for Psi Chi at EPA. Andrew holds licenses in both New York and New Jersey, as a Certified Social Worker in New York, and as a Certified School Psychologist, Certified School Social Worker and a Certified Alcohol Counselor in New Jersey. Presently teaching in the Psychology Department at New Jersey City University, Andrew's areas of interest include eating disorders and addictions, abnormal psychology, child development, and psychopharmacology. Andrew also serves as a Psi Chi Faculty Consultant and is the Psi Chi Faculty Advisor at New Jersey City University. In his limited leisure time he enjoys travel, swimming, reading voraciously, writing books, and spending as much time as possible with his family, especially his daughter Anya Rose.
There exist many casebooks of abnormal psychology. Some of these casebooks have been around for many years and have gone through many revisions. Some do not include patients who did not succeed in treatment (some psychologists use the term "client;" the terms, for me, are interchangeable). Some of the casebooks use famous people for their cases, such as Charles Manson, Jack the Ripper, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy, and "Sybil." These are all fascinating people, but I asked myself, "What would the purpose be if I decided to rehash famous serial killers and such?" After all, there are only so many ways one can assess Charles Manson, although Jack the Ripper is still a very popular subject today. (Ask Patricia Cornwell how much of her own money she spent trying to deduce his true identity.) I decided that the field needed a book that included real-life individuals from a wide variety of racial, ethnic, and geographical backgrounds with whom you might easily identify.
As a practicing psychologist and a practicing social worker for over 15 years, I have been fortunate to have encountered a wide variety of patients. Students often ask me how many patients I have had, and to this date I have counted over 400 different cases! Compared with other psychologists who have been practicing this is not a large number. But when I was first approached to write this book, I realized that I had a great sample size from which to draw the cases you are about to read.The format of this book is also rather unique. Each case is related with as much of the original narrative as is possible (all cases were interpreted using DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria). This will allow you to get a more complete and accurate picture of the client "in his/her own words." Verbatim is a key word for school psychologists, and I am putting this concept to use in this book. Thought questions appear midway through each case, and review questions at the end of each chapter. I suggest you use these questions to think further about the disorders being discussed. These questions in general do not have right or wrong answers. You will also be briefly exposed to the field of psychopharmacology, a crucial treatment modality in today's world of managed care and "quick fixes" for mental health problems and concerns. This section, which occurs with each case, will be as current as possible.
This book presents two cases per chapter. This will allow instructors to pick between two cases in each chapter if one case is not to their liking. Additionally, should an instructor decide to emphasize a particular disorder, s/he can use both cases to ensure comprehension and retention. Chapter 11 allows the student to apply what s/he has learned in class by providing two cases without the solutions (DSM-IV-TR diagnoses). The solutions, which should be discussed and debated in class, can be found on the book's web site ( www.prenhall.com/getzfeld ).
Writing a book such as this made me realize that it is impossible to satisfy all needs. Thus it is impossible, short of writing a virtual encyclopedia, to include every DSM-IV TR diagnostic category. My editor and I have decided that, should you desire future disorders in the next revision, please email me (email@example.com) or my editor (Jeff_Marshall@prenhall.com). We will collect this data and use it to determine the cases and/or changes to be made in the second edition. If there is enough demand for a particular disorder, Prentice-Hall will consider posting an additional case to the book's web site.
Finally, a word about the treatment modalities you will encounter. The modalities selected only represent some of the many possible ways to treat the mental disorders discussed here. In some instances the modalities selected worked well, in others, not well at all. As you will see, perfect success is not guaranteed in the fields of psychology and psychotherapy. By the time you have completed your studies, the success percentage will have hopefully increased.
This book has been a long endeavor and I am proud and pleased with the results. I would like to hear your impressions. Tell me what you liked and disliked about the book. What changes should be made in the second edition? What should be kept? All emails will be read; you will receive a reply (although not instantaneous).
My goal was to make this learning experience as enjoyable as possible while presenting you with real-life examples of a variety of mental illnesses. Some of these people may be close to you in age; some may sound like you, your family, or friends. All of them are real people with real concerns, and in most cases their strongest motivation is a desire to get better. The patients wanted their stories to be told so that other could learn from them, and devise even more effective treatment modalities, or perhaps conduct research to discover cures for their disorders.