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Writer's Guide to Psychology: How to Write Accurately About Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment and Human Behavior Paperback – 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Amid this scene of confusion, Carolyn Kaufman's accessible The Writer's Guide to Psychology offers both a fascinating read and a wealth of resource material. This is the kind of book you'll want to read from cover to cover and then store within reach of your desk for quick reference. Kaufman tackles a complicated subject and breaks it down into easily digestible pieces. She discusses everything from common myths and mistakes, to "thinking like a shrink," to detailed descriptions of many prominent disorders, including mood disorders, dementia, eating disorders, and PTSD, among many others.
The book is peppered with a delightful gamut of extra goodies, including Q&As and the always fun "Don't Let This Happen to You," in which Kaufman uses examples from popular film and fiction to illustrate how not to write about psychological subjects. The book came in particularly handy for me, since one of the stories I'm working on features a psychologist (now I don't have to worry about whether he should be called a psychiatrist instead!), but I have no doubt that it will be equally useful even in writing stories with no blatant connection to psychology. This one will be on my shelf for a long time to come.
There are some features in this book that I found particularly helpful. The "Don't Let This Happen To You" boxes give examples of how psychological conditions have been misrepresented in film and print. There are also boxed sections in which the author goes into greater detail on things commonly found in film and books. For example, in one section, she outlines the Intake Process and gives a step-by-step description of what a therapist might ask on an initial interview.
This is a thoughtful, well-executed resource for writers.
One thing I really hoped for in this book, which it does not contain, is a discussion of sociopaths. The book briefly mentions that psychopaths, sociopaths, and people with APD are NOT the same, and while it goes into some detail regarding APD and greater detail involving psychopaths, sociopaths are never discussed at length. I was greatly disappointed by this. However, I give this book 3 stars, as it provides a very solid foundation for someone with no background in psychology.
No prior knowledge of psychology is needed: this book will quickly get you up to speed on a wide range of therapy, disorders, and diagnosis. After reading this guide, you will be able to incorporate these elements into your fiction with confidence. The material is presented in a light, easy-to-digest format, without once getting bogged down in minutiae or unusable technical information. Every word is valuable.
I particularly liked the "Don't Let This Happen To You!" sections peppered throughout the book. They point out psychological blunders in popular fiction, many of which are cliches with well-worn paths to lead the unwary writer into a pitfall.
If you want to create convincing characters with the full range of human behavior, buy this book.
Today, most of us learn about psychology on TV shows, movies or plays. We have more information available today than ever before. However, did you know that the writers of those TV shows, movies or plays may have not researched the actual psychological traits they are using in their characters?
There is a lot of miss information circulating today. Why not find out for sure and make your characters come alive and be accurate as well?
Kaufman's book is an easy to access, up to date manual on psychological disorders, medications, personality issues, as well as degrees in the field of psychology today. If you are writing about people, you will find great help in this book.
I enjoyed how Kaufman takes psychological disorders, explains them, and then writes from a writer's perspective helping you get your characters right. This is not a boring treatise on Psychology. It is a writer's how-to manual written by a professional in Psychology who also happens to be a terrific writer herself.
She opens her book with common myths and mistakes. Then covers why people do what they do as she teaches you to think like a shrink. She touches on the degrees, training and ethics of the professional therapist. Then she includes a look behind the closed doors of a real therapy session.
Next you will learn about when a problem become a disorder.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In my opinion, it has extremely basic information and it's very much centered on the Disorders descripted in DSM. I think this is a quite narrow approach.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is fantastic and a MUST for writers. Regardless of the genre you are writing, it can help create characters that come to life. Read morePublished 4 months ago by A. LaRochelle
Can be Cliched at some parts. But provides good insights in lots of other times.Published 7 months ago by Assem A. Hendawi
The perfect book if you're into writing psychological thrillers or dramas.Published 12 months ago by Mark El-Ayat
Arrived on time; Exactly as described; Very Pleased with product. Good tool for writers.Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
it would be up to rhe readers opinion on how they feel about this book. I found it helpful in some areasPublished 18 months ago by madonnama