Dinah Miller, Annette Hanson, and Steven Roy Daviss
Shrink Rap (The Johns Hopkins University Press). By John Lewis-- Read It: Baltimore Magazine
Written by three local psychiatrists, this book makes an excellent resource for anyone curious about how psychiatry works. Because mental health treatment isn't as cut-and-dried as treatment for physical maladies, it can conjure confusion or, sometimes, outright suspicion among those who are unfamiliar with its methods. Most of us easily understand how to treat a broken arm, but a fractured psyche? That's an entirely different matter. Or is it? This clear-headed presentation of psychiatric services and methods covers a lot of ground and achieves a conversational tone that's both educational and entertaining.
By using fictional scenarios, the authors address the generalities and specifics of their work without compromising or omitting its very personal nature. Knowing these scenarios are fictional might lead to skepticism about resolutions that seem too tidy or self-serving. ("Twelve days after Josh had charged at his roommate with a knife, he was much better and went home from the hospital.") But that's a minor quibble for such an informative and worthwhile book.