Marital and Sexual Lifestyles in the United States: Attitudes, Behaviors, and Relationships in Social Context

AuthorLane H. Powell
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3729.2006.00384.x
Published date01 January 2006
Date01 January 2006
Book Reviews
Straight Talk About Your Child’s Mental Health: What
To Do When Something Seems Wrong. Stephen V.
Faraone. New York: The Guilford Press. 2003. 389
pp. Cloth ISBN: 1-57230-894-X, $35.00; Paper
ISBN: 1-57230-631-9, $16.95.
Dr. Stephen Faraone presents a very readable interpreta-
tion of the latest scientific information on the behavioral,
emotional, and learning problems of childhood paired with
clear assessment strategies for parents, in Straight Talk About
Your Child’s Mental Health: What To Do When Something
Seems Wrong. Dr. Faraone, Clinical Professor of Psych iatry
at Harvard Medical School and Director of Pediatric
Psychopharmacology Research at Massachusetts General
Hospital, leads the reader through a clear and inclusive look
at children’s psychological health, how disorders are diag-
nosed and treated, and finally where to turn for professional
help.
Faraone describes how professional and personal experi-
ences heighten his awareness of the complexity of dealing
with childhood psychological problems. Even as Dr. Faraone
names five main types of behavioral problems that can
occur, he concurrently reiterates that each child has a unique
profile of psychological strengths and weaknesses.
Common threads found throughout Straight Talk About
Your Child’s Mental Health are honesty about the variety of
societal responses to psychiatric and psychological disorders
coupled with identification of the risks related to not seeking
professional help. Faraone challenges the reader to use criti-
cal analysis and a firm foundation in logic and data while
working to achieve optimal outcomes for children with
behavioral, emotional, and learning problems.
Straight Talk About Your Child’s Mental Health is unique
in its focus on providing guidance on psychological health
care for children, parents, and other significant caregivers.
Faraone’s style is professional in tone and language and yet
not stilted. The clearly outlined structure and strategically
placed prompts about what to expect in subsequent chapters
motivate the reader to continue reading. Further, the book
helps adults develop the skill set necessary to distinguish
between developmental stages, transitory phases, and diag-
nosable illnesses.
From the parental perspective, telling how to connect
with community-based mental health facilities across the
country would strengthen the resource section. In addition,
translation of Straight Talk About Your Child’s Mental
Health into other languages would create an invaluable
resource for underserved parents and professionals.
Teachers, school counselors, parent educators, and
instructors in secondary and postsecondary human develop-
ment and child psychology classes will find this book a valu-
able resource. For teachers, parent educators, and school
counselors, this is a wonderful desk reference. For the aca-
demic instructor, this book has value as a supplemental text
or for inclusion on recommended reading lists.
Dr. Faraone’s clear examples, treatment road maps, and
concrete suggestions are useful to community-based parent
educators and to other professionals who write for parent
and educator audiences. I have included Dr. Faraone’s book
on suggested reading lists for parenting classes, have cited it
in parent and educator focused publications, and recom-
mend it as an addition to public and institutional library
collections.
JANET C. BENAVENTE
Colorado State University
Treating Difficult Couples: Helping Clients With Coexist-
ing Mental and Relationship Disorders. D. K. Snyder
andM.A.Whisman(Eds.).NewYork:TheGuilford
Press. 2003. 448 pp. Cloth ISBN: 1-57230-882-6,
$45.00.
Practitioners who work with couples will welcome Treat-
ing Difficult Couples, which provides an excellent guide for
treating couples who also are experiencing mental or behav-
ioral disorders. Because relationship problems often are
exacerbated by mental disorders, and couple distress may
influence the development of mental disorders (e.g., depres-
sion, anxiety, or sexual dysfunction), couples-based treat-
ment is a valuable resource. This book discusses the
reciprocal impact between a number of mental disorders
and relationship dysfunction and suggests couples therapy
methods that effectively influence both.
The first section of the book establishes the importance of
couple therapy for treating mental disorders. The prevalence
of comorbid relationship problems and mental disorders is
discussed, and a conceptual approach for couples’ treatment
that is tailored to the distinct characteristics of the individual
mental problem is developed. The second section presents
couples-based treatments for specific mental disorders,
including anxiety,depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia,
substance abuse, sexual dysfunction, and physical aggression.
A third section proposes methods for adapting couples
Family Relations, 55 (January 2006), 146–150. Blackwell Publishing.
Copyright 2006 by the National Council on Family Relations.

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