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Almost a Psychopath: Do I (or Does Someone I Know) Have a Problem with Manipulation and Lack of Empathy? Paperback – June 12, 2012


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Almost a Psychopath: Do I (or Does Someone I Know) Have a Problem with Manipulation and Lack of Empathy? + Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, & Other Toxic People + The Sociopath Next Door
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden; 1 edition (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616491027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616491024
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

2012 IPBA Benjamin Franklin GOLD Award Winner in the category of Psychology

"Dr. Schouten and Mr. Silver have written a sophisticated self-help book aimed primarily at those victims — parents, spouses and co-workers — but also at those who might sense some of these traits in themselves. The authors include a detailed discussion of the thought processes behind a psychiatric evaluation and an overview of the still-tentative theories of causation.

The almost-psychopaths are inherently fascinating; they may rise high and fall low (certain scions of politics and finance come to mind) or simply cause smaller miseries in their roles as controlling spouses, manipulative colleagues or uncontrollable teenagers.

At work they may be competent, self-disciplined and high-achieving. At home they may be charming and lots of fun. And on the inside they may be just as morally empty as any true psychopath, but the almost-psychopaths are grounded enough to keep some of their worst instincts in check, staying employed and out of major legal trouble."

—Abigail Zuger, New York Times, June 26, 2012


"Most of us have had an inexplicably uncomfortable feeling upon meeting certain people. They do not fit the psychopath mold, but they leave us with the proverbial hairs on the back of our necks standing alert. Schouten and Silver have done a masterful job explaining both why we have this reaction and how we might deal with almost psychopaths."

—Mark Albanese, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Addictions at Cambridge Health Alliance.


“At a time when the label “psychopath” has devolved into a mere epithet, Schouten and Silver provide the understanding that comes from recent research in the field, as well as their many years of education, training, and clinical practice. Most importantly, their “operational” approach to interactions with those who demonstrate psychopathic behaviors provides a primer for all who might otherwise fall prey to psychopathic behaviors of colleagues, co-workers, and yes, even family members.”
—Gregory Saathoff, MD,
Author;
Criminal Poisoning: Clinical and Forensic Perspectives
Associate Professor of Research, University of Virginia School of Medicine


“Psychopaths are the predatory and very dangerous few. Those who are “almost a psychopath” create mischief and misery for many. In this marvelous book of knowledge, wisdom, and sound advice, the subclinical—or should we say subcriminal—psychopath is brought to life. He can be dangerous but not lethal, duplicitous but not completely fraudulent. We finally have a book to help us recognize and cope with this personality.
—Reid Meloy, PhD
Forensic Psychologist and author,
The Psychopathic Mind


“The Almost Effect Series of books captures the fundamentally hum experiences and helps readers interpret what the symptoms might mean—both for themselves and others. The Almost Effect collection should be required reading for those interested in psychology and human behavior.”
—Howard J. Shaffer, PhD,
Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School,
Director of the Division on Addiction at the Cambridge Health Alliance
Co-author;
Change Your Gambling, Change Your Life


"Most of us have had an inexplicably uncomfortable feeling upon meeting certain people. They do not fit the psychopath mold, but they leave us with the proverbial hairs on the back of our necks standing alert. Schouten and Silver have done a masterful job explaining both why we have this reaction and how we might deal with almost psychopaths."
—Mark Albanese, MD, is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Director of Addictions at Cambridge Health Alliance.


"By highlighting the continuum of psychopathy and placing its associated symptoms and behaviors within the context of everyday encounters, the authors make understanding these difficult to manage people a little bit easier for everyone."
—Sally C. Johnson, MD

Almost a Psychopath "is a powerful read for those who want to better understand this mental illness and how to work with such individuals."
- The Midwest Book Review

About the Author

Ronald Schouten, MD, JD, has assessed individuals ranging from victims of child abuse, professional misconduct, and domestic violence to those accused of crimes that include bank robbery, campus shootings, and multiple murders. He is currently on staff at Harvard Medical School.

James Silver, JD, is a former federal prosecutor and current criminal defense attorney who has tried cases and handled appeals on offenses spanning the gamut of illegal behavior, from shoplifting to murder.

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Customer Reviews

The book was very interesting!
DannEboE
This book, through examples and stories, outlines clear and effective strategies for recognizing and dealing with the almost psychopaths in your life.
Fred Hassani
This is a book for anyone who might deal with a difficult person; it might be a psychopath.
Christine Villarino

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Eleanormous on June 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
What a sobering reminder of the huge spectrum of people in this world! You probably already know an "almost psychopath" (unlike full on psychopaths, they are shockingly prevalent in our society). The wrenching clinical examples of these types of people and their interactions with loved ones and co-workers are unforgettable.

On a more practical level, this book also instructs on how to recognize and deal with these types of people that you will (most likely) encounter. I defy you to read this book and not think "My god, he is PERFECTLY describing my step brother/former boss/neighbor etc." Schouten and Silver also give great, accessible introductions to common similar social disorders.

A highly recommended, thoughtful and provoking book.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Fred Hassani on July 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
I read this book immediately after finishing The Psychopath Test. That book left me with lots of questions which this one answered.

I'd venture to say that the majority of people--who are not psychopaths, or even almost psychopaths--have a hard time accepting that there are lots of folks in the world who simply don't think the way normal, empathetic people do. We bend over backwards to rationalize the bad behavior of colleagues, bosses, and family members--especially when they are charming and smart--because we take it as a given that everyone is as interested as we are in finding outcomes that are fair and equitable. We assume that if someone seems to be acting without regard to others it is probably just that they didn't understand the full scope of their actions or perhaps there was some miscommunication. In short: we are naive.

As a result, we can end up exhausting ourselves on approaches to "fixing" the problem that are doomed to failure. This book, through examples and stories, outlines clear and effective strategies for recognizing and dealing with the almost psychopaths in your life.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By KaelynM on June 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
While fiendish fictional cannibals and rampaging axe murderers are what come to mind when we think of psychopaths, the reality of the phenomena is much broader, far more common, and can hit creepily close to home, as this new book make clear. "Almost psychopaths," whose conning, cruel, and manipulative behavior lands them just short of the truly evil end of the psychopathy spectrum, can be found anywhere. They may be in your workplace, your school, your neighborhood, or even be members of your family. Until you can recognize their patterns and behaviors you'll remain vulnerable.

Backed by science and full of real case studies, this book provides valuable insights to help you recognize and deal with the almost psychopathic among us - ranging from those who cause recurrent problems to major predators. Absolutely worth the read.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By enricos on June 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a one-of-a-kind book. A lot can be found on full-blown psychopathy, but the misconception out there is that it must be about monsters. Not true; we do not need to look that far. Life, we are often reminded, is about grey areas.

Not many will run into a Ted Bundy in their lifetimes, but perhaps almost all of us will be affected by the "almost psychopathic" traits of a relative, a coworker, or an acquaintance of some kind. And what about our own "almost psychopathic" behaviors?

The clear-cut case presentations, discussions, and recommendations that Schouten and Silver put together are elegant and helpful. As a psychiatrist, but also as a parent and a citizen, I highly recommend this book.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By jbh5 on June 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being lied to, cheated, betrayed , fooled is like a robbery: even afterwards you can't believe it really happened....and it gets even worse when you somehow are convinced to leave your psychologic door unlocked a second and even a thrid time. It happens too often, but who wants to admit it?

This book finally offers protective suggestions for those of us who still want to trust ( not a bad trait, aftter all!). Starting with encouragement to forgive yourself when these selfish experts transgress upon you, this concise book is as practical as it is clearly written. Read it and share with your friends.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By jlrayot on June 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Congratulations to the authors of the book "Almost A Psychopath". This book, relating to serious mental health issues, is easily understood by the layperson. This is due in no small part to the nonintimidating language, writing style and format applied by the authors.

This unique book clearly meets its objective, which is to enable the every-day reader / person to better understand this very important subject. Having read the book, I for one have a greatly enhanced understanding about what constitutes a psychopath and an almost psychopath, as well as multiple strategies which can be applied in real life situations when dealing with such needy individuals.

It is true, as the authors suggest, that each and every one of us knows, or has known, one or more almost a psychopath. Some interact with such a person every day.

I can only imagine how many lives could be made better if everyone had the opportunity to read and digest the content of "Almost A Psychopath".
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mitchell Cohn on June 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
I must confess that I had no idea -- despite the daily dose of "shocking!" sensational headlines in the media -- just how prevalent the incidence of "almost pschopaths" is in our society.

What I especially appreciated in this book was the authors' language, which conveyed often very subtle concepts so that a layperson could understand it. Kudos to Dr. Schouten and Mr. Silver, each of whom has impressive credentials. It certainly made it much easier for me to imagine who among those I have encountered in life and in the workplace may in fact have been "almost psychopaths." Better yet, the authors provide clear guidance on what steps one can take, in any of various scenarios, to mitigate the impact of such people. The examples, drawn from real-life cases, are especially worthwhile reading in this regard.

Naturally, none of us would like to have to deal with "almost psychopaths" in any context, but it is reassuring that if we do, we can look to this book for assistance.
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