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Antisocial personality disorder

Posted By Cheryl P. Wolf, Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Antisocial Personality Disorder:
A Practitioner's Guide to Comparative Treatments Book

Antisocial personality disorder: A practitioner's guide to comparative treatmentsBeing Reviewed:
Rotgers, F., & Maniacci, M. (Eds.). (2006). Antisocial personality disorder: A practitioner's guide to comparative treatments. New York: Springer.

Bryan Stare

Curricular Areas:
Helping Relationships/Counseling Theory

Subject Headings:
Personality disorders

In their book Antisocial Personality Disorder: A Practitioner's Guide to Comparative Treatments, editors Frederick Rotgers and Michael Maniacci compared and analyzed various treatment approaches using a case study of a client diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder. They stated specifically that the book is not intended to be a comprehensive survey of the treatment of APD, but rather a forum through which experts could discuss their preferred treatment models given the same client. They began by providing an introduction to the structure of the book and a brief overview of APD including its history, construct, current criteria for diagnosis and clinical implications. They then introduced readers to the case study of Frank, a fictional client referred to treatment for violating his parole. They summarized Frank's history of sordid antisocial and sometimes criminal behaviors along with his early family experiences and what is left of his current relationships. The editors then provided the readers with chapters written by proponents of various theoretical approaches to APD including: psychodynamic; Adlerian; biosocial learning; motivational interviewing; Criminal Lifestyle theory (eclectic); cognitive behavioral; Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and psychopharmacological. The authors of each chapter responded to 17 questions regarding appropriate treatment for Frank, summarized their treatment plans, and discussed limitations and other factors for consideration. The editors closed with a discussion of comparative treatments including agreements and disagreements by the various contributors and implications for the mental health care professional and treatment of APD.

Professional counselors can use this book to obtain general knowledge on APD including various treatment modalities for the disorder. Professional counselors may find strategies put forth by the authors helpful in treating a client with similar symptoms as Frank. This may include individuals within the areas of criminal justice, substance abuse, or other clients who present with resistance or are difficult to get along with. The book may also be helpful with individuals suffering from other personality disorders as many of the authors cited research on comorbidity. I found the chapters on Dialectical Behavior Therapy and psychopharmacology to be the most interesting and informative. The authors of the DBT chapter emphasized understanding the client from their own personal context in order to make sense of harmful behaviors while at the same time remaining firm in placing emphasis on personal responsibility in doing something to change these behaviors. The psychopharmacology chapter is packed with information regarding research and various options and limitations of medication and the possible outcomes with a client such as Frank. Limitations of this book include the fact that it is very limited in scope in examining only one case study. There exist an incredible number of ways in which an individual may meet the criteria for APD and the authors only discussed one seemingly stereotypical example. Another limitation is that it was published in 2006 and relies on diagnosis from the DSM-IV-TR, soon to be dated by the DSM 5.

Originally posted on 10/5/2012 at

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