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Talking to Families about Mental Illness: What Clinicians Need to Know (Norton Professional Books (Hardcover)) First Edition Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393706000
ISBN-10: 0393706001
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Igor Galynker does a masterful job of imparting to his readers a wealth of clinical pearls from his 20 years of treating psychiatric patients and working with their families in a variety of settings. . . . [V]ery practical . . . . [E]xtremely valuable and informative. The book is particularly helpful for psychiatrists, primary care providers, mental health professionals and trainees. I highly recommend it to my peers, psychiatry residents and medical students. (American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry Newsletter)

Charles Nemeroff’s topmost blurb on this book’s back cover states that this volume ‘should be required reading for all mental health professionals, especially those in training.’ Many who read this excellent offering will probably not only agree with Dr. Nemeroff but may even want to expand his recommendation of this volume to include friends and family of persons with mental illness…. [A]n excellent manual for teaching practitioners how to effectively communicate with family members about the important issues related to having a loved one with mental illness…. One particularly valuable aspect of this book is the author’s use of scores of case vignettes throughout the text…[H]e is careful to avoid psychiatric jargon, and his use of plain English is refreshing. (Psychiatric Services)

Dr. Galynker successfully provides a very good resource in Talking to Families About Mental Illness that can help clinicians and families achieve their common goal of caring for the mentally ill. (PsychCentral)

[A]n invaluable guide to understanding and responding to the concerns of the relatives of those suffering from a mental illness…. [A] comprehensive compendium…While the intended audience is the mental health professional, the text is readily accessible to any person who is interested in understanding a wide range of mental disorders…. [T]his book provides clinicians with the information to empower and educate families so that they can effectively advocate and support the patient. (The Residents' Journal, a publication of The American Journal of Psychiatry)

Finally, a book for practitioners that explains how to craft your message differently when working with families coping with a variety of illnesses and circumstances. Dr. Galynker encourages the clinician to listen, as well as intervene and educate, which is likely to increase the cooperativeness of families and patients. (David J. Miklowitz, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Program, David Geffen School of Medicine UCLA)

Chock-full of insights from a seasoned clinician, Talking to Families About Mental Illness is comprehensive but easy to read. It is a richly-detailed and important contribution, focusing on one of the most complex and crucial aspects of medical practice. It will serve as a practical guide to non-psychiatric physicians, but a much wider audience, including families themselves, will find the book a rewarding read. Direct and lively, it is peppered with short illustrative conversations, which are particularly helpful and vividly model how to answer difficult questions and explain particular symptoms. (Susan B. Bressman, MD, Alan and Joan Mirken Chair, Department of Neurology, and Professor of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

Doctors and other mental health professional colleagues need to use this book as an essential reference.... Finally we have a doctor who cares enough to coach his colleagues about the range of attitudes, fears and confusions families suffer and how to establish a true therapeutic alliance. (Judith Carrington, Founder, Mental Health Resources, Chair, Media & Advocacy Group, National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI-NYC Metro))

About the Author

Igor Galynker, MD, PhD, is the associate chairman of psychiatry and director of the Bipolar Family Treatment Center at Beth Israel Hospital and a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He lives in New York City.
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Product Details

  • Series: Norton Professional Books (Hardcover)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition edition (November 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393706001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393706000
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,338,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Recommended for psychology collections is Igor Galynker's TALKING TO FAMILIES ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS: WHAT CLINICIANS NEED TO KNOW, from a veteran clinician who offers all his insights on how to speak with family members about treatment and options. Over 20 years' experience working in an acute inpatient psychiatric unit lends to his insights from his own clinical experience and provides specifics about communication on common mental health issues.
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Format: Hardcover
While a book for clinicians on how to talk to families about schizophrenia is a great idea, I agree with Dr. Curtis N Adams Jr., who wrote in a review in the Psychiatric Times that he could not recommend this book due to its inaccuracies and incompleteness.

Adams wrote that "In a section of the book where he offers information on how to work with families that prefer therapy over medications or vice versa, he writes that "pharmacotherapy alone is indicated for schizophrenia" (page 95)." This sort of "advice" could be ruinous to family members trying to help their loved one. A great deal of evidence now shows that therapy such as CBT for psychosis can be helpful for people diagnosed with schizophrenia, and the world's best outcomes are now being achieved in Northern Finland using a method called the Open Dialogue method, where 2/3 of those diagnosed with psychosis are never put on antipsychotics at all. Further, it has been shown that a significant minority of patients aren't helped to any significant degree by antipsychotic medications; they certainly deserve access to other forms of help, with family members who turn to this book for advice will be pointed squarely in the wrong direction.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Galynker personally has been instrumental in defining and categorizing my behavior and actions, and has identified the methods I use for communicating my bipolar illness to others. In itself, that was an extraordinary, positive step in the healing process of my loved ones and alienated friends, who had little understanding of the complex nature of bipolar disorder. This book is just as much a useful how-to for the lay person (whether patient, family or friend) as it is to a professional mental health reader.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a lay person, I am impressed profoundly with the problem-solving approach to a multitude of human problems incidental to a mental disease. In a family context these problems transcend a diagnosis as such. It should be self evident they cannot be isolated effectively from a course of treatment. However, it seems to me that Dr. Galynker's take on having families included in discussions of treatment is absolutely revolutionary and breakthrough.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is useful not only for clinicians (as it is marketed), but for the community - involved families, friends, co-workers, etc. It is important that the society is educated to recognize mental illnesses and to provide help, before it gets too late. The recent tragic events in AZ is a sad demonstration of this.
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Format: Hardcover
I am Professor of Cancer Biology and I was really highly impressed with this book. Written in a plain professionally impeccable language, its topics and the author's considerations take a reader far beyond the pure medical problems of mental illness directing him into a fascinating world of reflections and contemplations around the problems of basic psychological organization of the human personality. The author's talks with his patients are often expressed in a form of a friendly chat. They not only exemplify communications between a doctor and his patient but also may serve as a great example of a sophisticated monologs of a highly intellectual person, which are directed toward a broad audience of people who is considered the secrets of normal and pathological human mentality. I, therefore, believe that this professionally oriented book can be easily transformed into a version that may be directed toward a broad circle of ordinary readers.
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