web site hit counter The Writer's Guide to Psychology: How to Write Accurately about Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment and Human Behavior - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Writer's Guide to Psychology: How to Write Accurately about Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment and Human Behavior

Availability: Ready to download

An accurate and accessible survey of modern psychological theory and practice, this reference offers professional writers practical advice for incorporating psychological elements into their work.


Compare

An accurate and accessible survey of modern psychological theory and practice, this reference offers professional writers practical advice for incorporating psychological elements into their work.

30 review for The Writer's Guide to Psychology: How to Write Accurately about Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment and Human Behavior

  1. 5 out of 5

    K.M. Weiland

    Because authors tend to write about seriously flawed people, we often delve into the realm of psychology, intentionally or not. Stories in a wide array of genres feature psychologists, psychiatrists, psychopaths, schizophrenics, and any number of other characters that fall within the pale of modern psychology. Unfortunately, however, modern authors are too often guilty of taking their understanding of psychology at face value and running away with common misconceptions without a second thought. Because authors tend to write about seriously flawed people, we often delve into the realm of psychology, intentionally or not. Stories in a wide array of genres feature psychologists, psychiatrists, psychopaths, schizophrenics, and any number of other characters that fall within the pale of modern psychology. Unfortunately, however, modern authors are too often guilty of taking their understanding of psychology at face value and running away with common misconceptions without a second thought. How many of us know the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist or the difference between psychopathy and psychosis? How many of us (and if you’ve watched A Beautiful Mind, you don’t count!) know that schizophrenia does not involve multiple personalities? 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emma Sea

    this looks really good, but probably not something I need to read right now.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tez

    This is a reference I want every fiction writer to have. It was published in 2010, so I don't know if things in psych industry have changed since then (it's 2020 now), but it will help writers build a foundation of knowledge that they can add to on their own. The author is unfortunately no longer alive, so she won't be able to update the text with new info. And we readers won't be able to tell her how helpful the book is. This is a reference I want every fiction writer to have. It was published in 2010, so I don't know if things in psych industry have changed since then (it's 2020 now), but it will help writers build a foundation of knowledge that they can add to on their own. The author is unfortunately no longer alive, so she won't be able to update the text with new info. And we readers won't be able to tell her how helpful the book is.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steelwhisper

    This was an okay read for me, somewhere between 2* and 2.5*. A warning first, this is a very US-centric book. Quite a few of the statements do not fit countries with national health insurance systems. Contrary to Ms Kaufman's statement it is e.g. very easy to get committed to closed psychiatric wards in such countries, and it is very hard or often even impossible to get out again, especially if you've no family or friends able to act on your behalf. That said, it is a solid reference book for basi This was an okay read for me, somewhere between 2* and 2.5*. A warning first, this is a very US-centric book. Quite a few of the statements do not fit countries with national health insurance systems. Contrary to Ms Kaufman's statement it is e.g. very easy to get committed to closed psychiatric wards in such countries, and it is very hard or often even impossible to get out again, especially if you've no family or friends able to act on your behalf. That said, it is a solid reference book for basic information about disorders, treatments and medications, and how they combine, or don't. The well-read writer however may already have reached past the information level provided here, which--if I go by what Ms Kaufman states about PTSD or paraphilias--is rather basic, though concise. My verdict: a good reference book to quickly check what might work or not, but it won't spare you in-depth research!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Collin

    Good, briefly presented info, though I'm sure after 7 years some of it - probably about medication, especially - is out of date. It wasn't as much in-depth examination into mental illness as I was hoping; a lot of the book was instead taken up with discussion about therapy/therapists, which I didn't expect (though I probably should have). It's a good jumping-off point for writers, but I actually think this is a good reference for anyone looking to have a more accurate and nuanced view of people Good, briefly presented info, though I'm sure after 7 years some of it - probably about medication, especially - is out of date. It wasn't as much in-depth examination into mental illness as I was hoping; a lot of the book was instead taken up with discussion about therapy/therapists, which I didn't expect (though I probably should have). It's a good jumping-off point for writers, but I actually think this is a good reference for anyone looking to have a more accurate and nuanced view of people with the more well-known mental disorders. For writers looking for an in-depth examination of mental illnesses/disorders, however, or a book with lesser-known disorders, I don't think this would help as much. (As someone with SAD I was curious to see no mention of it as such, but instead put under some kind of category called "social phobias." Just one thing that might be a wee out of date. Not that the book isn't accurate in its descriptions, but the terminology might be behind.)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jane Lebak

    I sat down with this last week and went over several sections in order to make sure I'd conveyed a specific condition well in my WIP. It's eminently readable and a good overview for writers. Highly recommended! I sat down with this last week and went over several sections in order to make sure I'd conveyed a specific condition well in my WIP. It's eminently readable and a good overview for writers. Highly recommended!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan

    I think this is a really good, if brief, education about mental illness, personality disorders, therapy and psychiatry for the writer's eyes. The references to the screw-ups in real books and movies were an excellent feature. I would recommend this to any writer who felt they needed to know more about this topic. However, I did think it was repetitive at times, and it also focused only on what COMPETENT therapists would do. I've encountered incompetent clinicians in my time who did exactly the o I think this is a really good, if brief, education about mental illness, personality disorders, therapy and psychiatry for the writer's eyes. The references to the screw-ups in real books and movies were an excellent feature. I would recommend this to any writer who felt they needed to know more about this topic. However, I did think it was repetitive at times, and it also focused only on what COMPETENT therapists would do. I've encountered incompetent clinicians in my time who did exactly the opposite of what the book said they would do.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lindsey

    If you are a writer, this book is a must! I was thrilled to preview this book and found it useful and relevant to my career as a novelist. Well-written and concise, I recommend it to anyone wanting to accurately portray a character with psychological disorders.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarina Langer

    It's simple: if you're a fiction writer of any genre, you need to read Kaufman's guide. Don't worry, you don't need to become a psychology expert to write your book. A basic understanding, however, is a must. If you don't think psychology comes into your writing, think again. It's a part of your story if you have characters, which is... everyone of us. There's psychology behind everything we do (say, every argument or every reaction). That can't not affect your characters! There's another reason ev It's simple: if you're a fiction writer of any genre, you need to read Kaufman's guide. Don't worry, you don't need to become a psychology expert to write your book. A basic understanding, however, is a must. If you don't think psychology comes into your writing, think again. It's a part of your story if you have characters, which is... everyone of us. There's psychology behind everything we do (say, every argument or every reaction). That can't not affect your characters! There's another reason every writer should read this, too. I think we have an obligation to every mentally ill person of any psychological disorder to represent them properly. The number of writers who think a split personality is the same as schizophrenia is too damn high, my fellow writers! Accurate representation matters so, so much, and The Writer's Guide to Psychology will help you do it. It's not a dry read either--there's a quiz at the front and Kaufman's tone is lighthearted, so it's not a difficult read. You don't need to read the whole book (it's short--232 pages) in one go if psychology really isn't your thing. Just dip into the chapter relevant to your character and learn what you need. As writers, we have to do our research and we have to do it right. This book will help you do just that so you're clear on symptoms, behaviours, and don't confuse DID and schizophrenia.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stina Lindenblatt

    The premise behind The Writer’s Guide to Psychology by Carolyn Kaufman is brilliant. This book is perfect for anyone who’s writing a novel. In chapter two (Why People Do What They Do), Carolyn discusses the different therapist stereotypes portrayed in films and novels. She then goes into the five different therapy orientations (e.g. psychodynamic therapy) and describes how each would be used to help a client overcome whatever issues he’s dealing with. But she takes it one step further by explain The premise behind The Writer’s Guide to Psychology by Carolyn Kaufman is brilliant. This book is perfect for anyone who’s writing a novel. In chapter two (Why People Do What They Do), Carolyn discusses the different therapist stereotypes portrayed in films and novels. She then goes into the five different therapy orientations (e.g. psychodynamic therapy) and describes how each would be used to help a client overcome whatever issues he’s dealing with. But she takes it one step further by explaining how each therapy can help you understand your character (even if your character doesn’t require therapy). Another benefit of the book is that Carolyn explains the realities of therapy, and helps you create realistic scenes in which your main character is either receiving therapy or conducting a therapy session. Again, novels, TV shows, and movies often misrepresent this, so it’s not a good idea to use them as a guide when you write your story. Carolyn also describes the difference between someone who needs therapy to help them deal with some aspect of their life verses someone who has a diagnosable disorder. A large chunk of the book then covers the different disorders, including: • Mood, anxiety, and psychotic disorders • Childhood disorders (autistic spectrum disorder, ADHD, conduct disorder) • Dementia • Eating disorders • Post traumatic stress disorder • Dissociation • Personality disorders And let’s not forget the chapter on psychopaths and villains. Here you get insights into what makes a psychopath and how to makes yours believable. This also includes the corporate psychopath, the individual who’s hungry for power. And finally, there’s a chapter on drugs and treatments, such as electroconvulsive therapy, and one on emergencies in psychotherapy (suicidality, homicidality, and hospitalization). The idea behind the book is to help you avoid making the same mistakes so many lay writers make when writing a novel that requires some insight into psychology or therapy. Throughout the book, there are little tidbits called “Don’t Let This Happen To You” that will help you avoid the mistakes that will weaken the credibility of your writing. Plus, Carolyn has a great suggestion in chapter one for coming up with plot ideas. I’m not going to tell you what it is, though. You have to read the book. Overall, I’m thrilled that I bought the book. It’s open me to a huge range of plot ideas for future projects. You’ve got to love a book that can do that.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kari J.

    Sometimes it seems everywhere you turn, the entertainment and book industry throws mentally disturbed characters at us. Dennis Lahane’s “Shutter Island,” both the book and the movie, are good examples of this: the federal agent visits a mental institution in the 1950’s to assist in the search for an escaped patient. Great story–the book AND the movie were definitely done right, entertainment-wise. But what about factually? As a writer, I want to ensure that my works are as accurate as possible. Sometimes it seems everywhere you turn, the entertainment and book industry throws mentally disturbed characters at us. Dennis Lahane’s “Shutter Island,” both the book and the movie, are good examples of this: the federal agent visits a mental institution in the 1950’s to assist in the search for an escaped patient. Great story–the book AND the movie were definitely done right, entertainment-wise. But what about factually? As a writer, I want to ensure that my works are as accurate as possible. Accuracy lends itself to realism which lends itself to a reader’s suspension of disbelief which lends itself to the beginnings of a great novel. Written by a practicing psychotherapist and writer, Carolyn Kaufman, Psy.D, “The Writer’s Guide to Psychology: How to Write Accurately about Psychological Disorders, Clinical Treatment and Human Behavior” is a gift to writers everywhere who need a jumping off point to ensure they are on the right path when it comes to accuracy in the area of psychology. In the first chapter, Dr. Kaufman points out the need for consistency in research by fiction writers by talking about various public perceptions regarding psychological disorders as well as the psychology profession itself. In each chapter, she takes topical examples from popular TV shows, movies and books, showing us the inaccuracies with the characters and how they are portrayed, showing us where the writers went wrong and how that information has been disseminated into popular culture. With chapters on fictional representations of psychological issues, how to think like a shrink, the ethics of a therapy and how therapy actually works, this book gives you a strong working background to incorporate into your story. The latter half of the book lists most of the well-known disorders, a chapter focusing on psychopathic behaviors in villains, a chapter on well-known interventions ranging from medication to electroconvulsive therapy to lobotomies as well as how to handle suicidal behavior and psychiatric hospitalizations. “The Writer’s Guide to Psychology” is a great roadmap for writers, authors and anyone who wants to start factually based research in the field of psychology.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Coleman

    There was a lot, on how to portray those in the psychiatric profession in a believable manner. There was a lot about medications and what would realistically be prescribed to what patient. Clearly the author has read many books that hit her pet peave buttons on these topics. If your characters are in this profession you likely would find this part very useful. I would have liked more on a wider range of human behavior from normal to extreme pathology, and how to realistically portray the more sub There was a lot, on how to portray those in the psychiatric profession in a believable manner. There was a lot about medications and what would realistically be prescribed to what patient. Clearly the author has read many books that hit her pet peave buttons on these topics. If your characters are in this profession you likely would find this part very useful. I would have liked more on a wider range of human behavior from normal to extreme pathology, and how to realistically portray the more subtle sides of the human condition. Perhaps her next book can talk in more subtle terms. I would read another book by this author as the information was accessible and the sections about severe pathology were useful.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    A decent reference to have on your desk, though a decent Google might reveal similar info for the lay-person. If you've had any interaction with the world of mental health either as a client or the caretaker of a patient/client, about half the book is redundant. If you've, say, been to therapy a few times and never seen a psychiatrist, it will clear up alot of assumptions and myths. If you want to write about the really disturbed (true villans, etc) I think the book is helpful. If you want to wr A decent reference to have on your desk, though a decent Google might reveal similar info for the lay-person. If you've had any interaction with the world of mental health either as a client or the caretaker of a patient/client, about half the book is redundant. If you've, say, been to therapy a few times and never seen a psychiatrist, it will clear up alot of assumptions and myths. If you want to write about the really disturbed (true villans, etc) I think the book is helpful. If you want to write a character with lots of vague quirks, some illogical beliefs but never to the point of stating an exact diagnosis by a clinician - you can probably skip it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emy Calirel

    I guess this just wasn't what I was expecting. I found the first part to drag, I wasn't super interested in the last part. I was interested in the disorders descriptions, but be aware that this book offers a BRIEF overview of each illness. This is in no way enough to write a character, you'll have to do your own research and dig a lot deeper. It's a good starting point though, and the section on DID was the most interesting to me. In the end, the book went too in depth in things I didn't care muc I guess this just wasn't what I was expecting. I found the first part to drag, I wasn't super interested in the last part. I was interested in the disorders descriptions, but be aware that this book offers a BRIEF overview of each illness. This is in no way enough to write a character, you'll have to do your own research and dig a lot deeper. It's a good starting point though, and the section on DID was the most interesting to me. In the end, the book went too in depth in things I didn't care much for (it's interesting, but it was too detailed for me) and not enough in what I was actually interested in learning about.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Patty Jansen

    This book is an excellent reference for writers wanting to accurately portray characters who either have a mental condition or come into contact with people who do. The book cuts through cliches, gives examples of wrong and right portrayal of mental health professionals, lists their education, explains the difference between a phychologist and a psychiatrist, between bipolar disorder and depression and schizofrenia, and much, much more.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Good book with a lot of information, but it seemed extremely based on mental illness and therapy--not on general psychological concepts useful to writers. Of course, the title of the book should have suggested this to me, but it still wasn't exactly what I had been expecting--especially because I was interested in historical information, and the book provides very little information other than what's current. So all in all--a good and useful book, but not what I was looking for. Good book with a lot of information, but it seemed extremely based on mental illness and therapy--not on general psychological concepts useful to writers. Of course, the title of the book should have suggested this to me, but it still wasn't exactly what I had been expecting--especially because I was interested in historical information, and the book provides very little information other than what's current. So all in all--a good and useful book, but not what I was looking for.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Deb Salisbury

    The Writer's Guide to Psychology explains psychology and the clinical practice of psychology in clear, easy to understand chapters. While it's intended for writers, I think anyone wondering about the basics will find this book helpful. It gives examples of how the subject is treated in film and fiction, and shows how it was done right - or wrong. Highly recommended! The Writer's Guide to Psychology explains psychology and the clinical practice of psychology in clear, easy to understand chapters. While it's intended for writers, I think anyone wondering about the basics will find this book helpful. It gives examples of how the subject is treated in film and fiction, and shows how it was done right - or wrong. Highly recommended!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Clarissa Draper

    This is a must read for all writers.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Shay

    A very informative and helpful guide for anyone writing characters with mental disorders, or characters who treat those with them. I would definitely encourage anyone writing either of those characters to do further research on the subject matter, but this is a good general guide and a great starting place. It debunks many misconceptions about therapy, therapists, and various disorders, clarifies what disorders both are and are not, how some of them are treated, and how a therapist should approa A very informative and helpful guide for anyone writing characters with mental disorders, or characters who treat those with them. I would definitely encourage anyone writing either of those characters to do further research on the subject matter, but this is a good general guide and a great starting place. It debunks many misconceptions about therapy, therapists, and various disorders, clarifies what disorders both are and are not, how some of them are treated, and how a therapist should approach a client with that disorder for optimal outcomes. While a more recent publication than many writer's resources I've come across over the years (published 2010), it's mentioned in the closing pages of the book about the upcoming DSM-5. The -5 has now been out for 6 years, and there are some important changes made, like the LPE specifier for conduct disorder. While therapists don't just stop diagnosing disorders that are moved or removed from the DSM, it is on their shoulders to stay up to date with changes in classifications, medications, etc, and as such, it is also on the writer to keep up to date with things like new versions of the DSM. I would highly recommend looking at the DSM-5 itself after reading this book, to make sure your writing your characters properly, as well as recent research on the disorder or therapies you want to write about, psychopathy especially. The chapter on psychopaths in this book is one of the most accurate sources I've come across, but again even it is old enough that some of the content is outdated thanks to newer research. I've been researching psychopathy for 8 years, only 2 of which were within an academic setting, and I'm still learning all kinds of things. This book also doesn't touch on every possible disorder out there, such as gender dysphoria/gender identity disorder and others, so looking at the DSM-5 would also be helpful to see if you're making a character who might have a disorder or condition not in this book that is still diagnosable. And the DSM-5 also doesn't use the Axis I/Axis II/etc distinctions anymore either, so some terminology may be different now than it was when this book was published. But it does serve as a really good spring board and includes resources the author used to make the book and do her own research, which can serve to start someone's individual research on the subject matter. It talks about the most common disorders in real life and how to make them accurate in fictional representations. My favorite part, actually, were the little boxes where Kaufman takes various books and movies (some of them very popular and well known) and basically rips them apart for how inaccurate they are in their description or representation of mental disorders or therapy. This book is a great guide for what to do in writing, but also includes great examples of what not to do as well.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shyra

    I decided to get this book out of curiosity and the fact that I was interested in crafting a character battling a psychological disorder. It was my first time creating such a character and I wanted the portrayal to be as accurate as possible. The book is divided into three distinct and prominent sections—therapists/therapy, the disorders, and medications. I have noted several reviewers stating the insignificance of the detailed explanation behind the responsibilities of a therapist, but in all ho I decided to get this book out of curiosity and the fact that I was interested in crafting a character battling a psychological disorder. It was my first time creating such a character and I wanted the portrayal to be as accurate as possible. The book is divided into three distinct and prominent sections—therapists/therapy, the disorders, and medications. I have noted several reviewers stating the insignificance of the detailed explanation behind the responsibilities of a therapist, but in all honesty, I beg to differ. This book is written specifically with the idea of helping a writer create accurate portrayals of a character facing psychological disorders. It is impertinent that the writer understand what goes on behind a therapy session (especially if they've never been to therapy themselves), the kinds of therapy method most suitable for their character's disorder, and how a good/bad therapist would act. In fact, I found the book in its entirety extremely informative and immensely useful. It wasn't just focused on detailing and differentiating the various psychological disorders. Rather, the author took their time to explain the medications used to treat such disorders, the usefulness behind such medications, and precisely how they work (coupled with diagrams to help the reader better visualise the concept). Overall, I would say that The Writer's Guide to Psychology is worth the read for anyone willing to try their hand at creating a character diagnosed with a psychological disorder. Not only is it written in an easy-to-understand way, it is also filled with information the average person probably would not acquire from a simple search on the internet. The author has also graciously inputted various misconceptions about the different psychological disorders to better help writers avoid such mistakes when writing their stories.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Helena Handbasket

    An amazing resource. If you are planning on writing a character that has any kind of mental illness or even want to make an offhand reference to mental illness, read this first. Incorrect depictions of mental illness in fiction all to often contribute to the mistreatment of the mentally ill in reality.

  22. 5 out of 5

    amadi

    Brief Psychology Intro It doesn’t go into great details of each main disorder that it mentions but does separate facts from fiction which, I enjoyed reading. And even though I took Psych 101 twice, for fun, I still confuse some of the words myself. So this is definitely helpful if you want to write realistically and not have people like me laugh as we read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Super reference book for writers who want to ensure the behaviour of a character with a psychiatric disorder remains true to form and consistent. The author has also write fiction and it shows in this extremely useful guide.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    This book gives a mostly accurate yet simplistic view of psychotherapy. If it is used appropriately by writers in their writing, it's probably fine. My concern would be if readers think they actually know more than they really can know from reading this book. This book gives a mostly accurate yet simplistic view of psychotherapy. If it is used appropriately by writers in their writing, it's probably fine. My concern would be if readers think they actually know more than they really can know from reading this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Scott Colby

    I read this book late last year and it has been incredibly helpful in the writing of my first draft of my novel. I wanted to make my villain realistic and Carolyn's well-researched book helped me determine he had antisocial personality disorder. I was saddened to read of Carolyn's premature death. I read this book late last year and it has been incredibly helpful in the writing of my first draft of my novel. I wanted to make my villain realistic and Carolyn's well-researched book helped me determine he had antisocial personality disorder. I was saddened to read of Carolyn's premature death.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Absolutely brilliant. Best book I’ve seen in the subject, not just for writers, but for lay people looking for an overview of psychiatric disorders and treatment.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jason Ellis

    Fairly exhaustive, organized, and well-written.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Charles Garard

    Because I am a writer, I found this book by Dr. Carolyn Kaufman is be an invaluable addition to one's reference shelf near one's computers. My reference shelves are above my computer work space and near my shoulder on the left wall. Also because I am a writer and spend more time composing text than in reading, it has taken me a long while to complete her book. This, however, is no reflection on her work as she has a smooth and easy style. The only aspect that may bog down the reader, but in a go Because I am a writer, I found this book by Dr. Carolyn Kaufman is be an invaluable addition to one's reference shelf near one's computers. My reference shelves are above my computer work space and near my shoulder on the left wall. Also because I am a writer and spend more time composing text than in reading, it has taken me a long while to complete her book. This, however, is no reflection on her work as she has a smooth and easy style. The only aspect that may bog down the reader, but in a good way, is the seemingly exhaustive list of psychological terms that any writer who writes about psychological aspects of our characters (and who among us doesn't?) should find as equal to gold nuggets. In fact, I have already used a couple of her terms in a science-fiction sequel I am working on now called SHADOWS AND REALMS. Dr. Kaufman throws light on misconceptions about diagnosis practices and misuse of terms by authors and filmmakers -- even going so far as to name authors and titles of works that have used terms incorrectly. She not only gives us examples of correct usage (the difference between ADD and ADHD, between depression and psychosis, between psychiatrists and psychologists, between dysfunction and deviance, between Schizophreniform disorder and schizophrenia) but details the training that therapists must undergo and their treatment of clients (patients). She even points out the steps that must be taken before administering an ECT to a severely troubled client (steps that I believe were not entirely followed when my brother was given three ECTs several years ago for major depression). She even mentions that 80% of people with diagnosable problems avoid therapy for a number of reasons. Since they avoid treatment and remain unidentified, I am not sure how she arrives at this figure. Another figure that she employs is 70% which she adds that "70 percent of writers don't know the difference between schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and dissociative identity disorder (multiple personalities)"(75). Oh oh. Again I don't know who much reading she had to do to arrive at that figure, but all of us, nonetheless, understand her point and had better pay attention. Otherwise, we might find one of our books or films appearing on her list in a future publication.

  29. 5 out of 5

    June

    The Writer's Guide to Psychology is on a mission. Its title tells it all. Its goal is to provide writers with guidance to avoid making amateur mistakes when writing about psychopaths, serial killers and any number of mentally ill characters that flourish from a writer's imagination. This knowledge is not just for the fiction writer, but also for those writing nonfiction. The Guide delineates psychological disorders and their treatments--both medical and psychotherapeutic in a comprehensive way. I The Writer's Guide to Psychology is on a mission. Its title tells it all. Its goal is to provide writers with guidance to avoid making amateur mistakes when writing about psychopaths, serial killers and any number of mentally ill characters that flourish from a writer's imagination. This knowledge is not just for the fiction writer, but also for those writing nonfiction. The Guide delineates psychological disorders and their treatments--both medical and psychotherapeutic in a comprehensive way. It's succinct and clear, never becoming too esoteric or theoretical for a layperson to understand. The author, Carolyn Kaufman is not only a psychologist, but a writer as well. Her skill in writing craft is clear as she entertains as well as informs the reader with her snappy and conversational style. Kaufman bursts many myths and clichés about such maladies as schizophrenia, multiple personalities and the profession of psychotherapy in general. One of the most interesting features is entitled "Don't let this happen to you." These are vignettes that showcase scenes from well-known movies and novels that make an inaccurate use of psychology and psychiatry in some manner. The reader will giggle as she reads the mistakes written in Twilight, James Patterson's two novels, The 6th Target and Jack and Jill, in addition to the movie The Bone Collector among others. Perhaps, an unintended bonus is how well The Writer's Guide to Psychology serves as not only a thorough guide for the novice, but as a quick refresher for the clinical professional as well. This book should be in every writer's professional library and every clinician's too--whether they are writers or not.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Wesley Fox

    Very helpful and accessible source for writers. Kaufman is fairly thorough and exposes a lot of popular myths and misconceptions about psychology, as well as pointing out movies that failed to portray the profession or certain disorders accurately. Kaufman spent a couple chapters describing the profession from a practitioners perspective, which would be useful if you had a character that was a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, etc. This wasn't really what I was interested in and it isn't really conv Very helpful and accessible source for writers. Kaufman is fairly thorough and exposes a lot of popular myths and misconceptions about psychology, as well as pointing out movies that failed to portray the profession or certain disorders accurately. Kaufman spent a couple chapters describing the profession from a practitioners perspective, which would be useful if you had a character that was a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, etc. This wasn't really what I was interested in and it isn't really conveyed in the title. My interest was more in being accurate in portrayals of disorders and treatment. The reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that Kaufman seems to think that writers are most interested in technically accurate portrayals. While that is a consideration, technical accuracy is not what makes or breaks a story. As a writer, I would sacrifice some technical accuracy for the sake of the story. What would've been more helpful would be descriptive examples of each disorder or treatment regiment that could help with inspiring ideas. Most readers are not bothered by technical inaccuracies (within reason) but are captivated by dynamic characters in extremely difficult situations, whether it is dealing with mental illness in a loved one or themselves. Giving the official list of the required symptoms for a diagnosis doesn't really paint a descriptive picture of what the disease or disorder would look like in a scene. I still recommend it for writers wanting to increase their knowledge and accuracy in this area as well as get a few ideas for their own stories and characters.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.