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September 24, 2014

Mental health counseling book offers guide to understanding psychopathology

Warner School’s Andre Marquis coauthors text for practitioners.

Andre Marquis, associate professor of counseling and human development at the Warner School of Education, closely examines the causes of, and treatments for, mental health disorders in a new book, Understanding Psychopathology: An Integral Exploration.

Collaborating with Elliott Ingersoll of Cleveland State University, the book is written for students training to become mental health practitioners, counselors, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists and a unifying resource for individuals currently working in the mental health field.

In an age when mental health disorders are on the rise and are a leading cause of disability in the United States, where nearly one in five adults suffers from mental illness each year, counselors continue to advocate for an integral exploration of the underlying causes of disorders and the best way to treat mental health issues. The authors cover disorders ranging from depression, anxiety, and eating disorders to bipolar I disorder, schizophrenia, and psychological trauma, using a model known as the “integral model.”

The authors describe the model as an integrative and unifying framework oriented around four different perspectives—psychological, biomedical, cultural, and social—to help assist clinicians through the diagnosis and treatment of disorders among clients.

The book was designed to complement, rather than replace, the current edition of the common and widely-used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, also referred to as the DSM, as well as other diagnostic manuals for mental and emotional disorders.

Marquis and Ingersoll highlight the importance of looking at symptoms from different points of view, particularly as the DSM edition continues to evolve.

“Although the DSM edition changes over the years, how a disorder is labeled and how many symptoms you must have to be diagnosed with a disorder does not change what causes the disorder and how best to treat the disorder,” the coauthors write in the introduction. “Being able to view symptoms from different perspectives increases the chance that a clinician will consider multiple variables related to the client’s symptoms (and then treatment) that might otherwise go unnoticed.”

The authors present research and theories of causes for each disorder from each perspective of the integral model, examinations of the treatments for each, and case studies to help illustrate the concepts.

Marquis’s contributions to the book include solo-authored chapters on anxiety disorders, and substance-related disorders, as well as a coauthored introduction and chapters on DSM (and other manuals) and sexual disorders that he wrote with Warner School doctoral student Deborah Hudson and alumna Jessica Germano- Fokin ’12W (EdD).

The book also includes chapters on attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), coauthored by Warner School counseling and human development chair Kathryn Douthit and alumna Tami Sullivan ’12W (PhD); and sleep-wake disorders, written by doctoral student Ari Elliot ’10W (MS).

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