Reviewed by Christina Fraser in bphope

Being a mental health “consumer” becomes much easier with a copy of Shrink Rap in hand. It’s a backstage pass to the complex world of treatment strategies, practitioners, and the insurance system, as explained by professionals in the field.

Using a cast of fictional patients and providers, the book covers various ways an individual might enter treatment—referral, hospital admission, legal intervention—and how The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is used in diagnosis. We get the “real world” story about what a patient experiences with different forms of treatment and in different therapeutic settings, and the flip side, too: how the system affects providers and how they run their practices. 

The authors don’t skirt the dark side, either—ineffective providers, medication side effects, complicated insurance rules. This should be the “go-to” book for patients, family members, and other professionals who need a plain-language explanation of an often perplexing system.