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Review of "Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders"

By David H. Barlow (editor)
Guilford Press, 2001
Review by Jayanta Hegde on May 2nd 2002
Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders

If you are a mental health professional, or are studying to be one, chances are good that you already own David Barlow’s Clinical Handbook of Psychological Disorders. The book, now in its third edition, features well-established treatment protocols for fourteen of the most commonly encountered psychological disorders.

New to this edition are three protocols: ‘interpersonal psychotherapy for depression’, ‘cocaine dependence’ and ‘bipolar disorder,’ each reflecting recent developments in the clinical intervention for these disorders. There is also a more extensive coverage of alcohol dependence and sexual dysfunction than in previous editions.

The chapters are written by prominent clinicians and researchers who relate their scientific and practical expertise on the conceptualization, assessment, and therapeutic intervention for these disorders. Chapters typically provide a brief description of the pathology, an explanation of the model or theory that guides the particular treatment, an explanation of the typical setting and social context for treatment, and finally, a detailed step-by-step treatment protocol, sometimes accompanied by transcripts from therapy sessions and various forms and schedules useful in clinical practice. Whenever possible, empirical evidence for the efficacy of these protocols, and clinical predictors of its success or failure are also included.

Clinical vignettes hold the readers attention between semi-technical accounts of theory and treatment protocol. The chapters are clear, concise and even accessible to some non-professionals. Patients and their families, who are looking to familiarize themselves with a particular therapeutic process, may find this book helpful. This degree of accessibility is hard to come by in similar handbooks on psychotherapy, and for this reason, it is widely used as a textbook for incoming graduate students of clinical psychology. Despite this fact, even the most experienced of therapists will find plenty to incorporate into their clinical practice.


Click here to see the table of contents at the publisher’s website; psychologists will recognize the names of some distinguished colleagues.

Click here to see a list of books on psychotherapy and other clinical issues published by Guilford Press.

Click here to browse similar books published by the American Psychological Association (APA).


© 2002 Jayanta Hegde


Jayanta Hegde studies Psychology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is presently involved in a study of brain activation patterns in depressed individuals with negative information-processing biases. General academic interests include psychopathology, neuropsychology/philosophy, and philosophy of the mind.