Almost a Psychopath – Ronald Schouten & James Silver

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4/5

As a mental health professional, it was nice to read something useful but not jam-packed with jargon, as I am already used to that in my doctorate program. I can see myself referring to this book when assessing clients and/or interactions. I liked how the authors presented case studies of many different types of manipulative behavior, which I found useful, as well as the distinction between a full-blown psychopath and the subclinical psychopathic people who may still cause havoc in our lives.

I will say that their action steps were useful, but I would have also liked to see them perhaps elaborated on in a case scenario. I realize the authors aren’t therapists, but since I am, that was what my mind first went to. I definitely think there is a lot of useful research and information that I can reference when working with clients who seem to lack empathy/taking responsibility for their actions (even if they are not a full-blown psychopath).

This was an easy read, I got though it in a few days. I was really glad that the authors acknolwedged that just because someone doesn’t meet criteria for a particular disorder, that does not mean that their behaviors or mindsets are not problematic. With the DSM V now, I do think there is a little more room to explain nuanced situations and symptom clusters, so that is helpful. Though I am a little bitter that I learned the DSM IV (with axis) in undergrad, so that is forever etched in my brain, haha, I will have to adjust. This was a really nice refresher on some disorders/symptoms.

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