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Book Forum: Treatment Issues   |    
Handbook of Psychological Assessment, 4th ed.
JOSHUA GROSSMAN, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 2004;161:183-a-184. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.161.1.183-a
View Author and Article Information
Johnson City, Tenn.

By Gary Groth-Marnat, Ph.D. New York, John Wiley & Sons, 2003, 824 pp., $95.00.

Since Webster’s dictionary (both printed [second edition, 1955] and on-line [http://www.m-w.com] versions) defines "handbook" as "capable of being conveniently carried as a ready reference," I was pleasantly surprised and delighted that this veritable cornucopia of psychological assessment data is not a pocket-size manual. At 3 lb, 12 oz, this book is heavier than the 2-lb, 4-oz weight of my treasured and highly valued copy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry in Clinical Practice(1). Professor Groth-Marnat of Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif., achieves his objective of "integrating the best of science with the best of practice" (p. xiii).

As attorneys have made reasonably vigorous efforts and endeavors to discredit me in my role as a forensic medical expert (2)—which is their fiduciary and ethical duty on behalf of their clients—I found myself ruefully smiling and nodding (3, 4) at Professor Groth-Marnat’s wise inclusion of a sobering caveat that "many attorneys are familiar with the same professional literature that psychologists read and may use this information to discredit a psychologist’s qualifications, methods of assessment, or conclusions."

Having observed IQs of 50–60 in my alcohol-dependent clients, I respect and appreciate Professor Groth-Marnat’s pointing out that IQs can 1) adequately predict short-term scholastic performance, 2) assess an individual’s relative strengths and weaknesses, 3) predict occupational achievement, and 4) reveal important personality variables.

Shakespeare may have best stated the importance of hope when he wrote, "The miserable have no other medicine, but only hope" (Measure for Measure, Act III). Providing and interpreting the precise psychological testing so ably presented in this truly outstanding text may well provide the best hope for those suffering with neuropsychological disorders and for their significant others and their loved ones.

This text should be required reading for all candidates for both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field of psychology. Further, this text should be recommended reading for psychologists providing neuropsychological testing. Professor Groth-Marnat’s well-referenced, all-inclusive, quietly effective presentations will enhance the knowledge and focus of educator, clinician, and researcher alike. I hear the essence of scripture when reading this outstanding text: "The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouting of a ruler among fools" (Ecclesiastes 9:17).

I plan to keep this text on my desk for ready reference in the planning and interpretation of neuropsychological testing and my teaching and writing efforts and endeavors.

Gabbard GO: Psychodynamic Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, 3rd ed. Arlington, Va, American Psychiatric Publishing, 2003
 
Grossman J: Book review, TG Gutheil, RI Simon: Mastering Forensic Psychiatric Practice: Advanced Strategies for the Expert Witness. Am J Psychiatry  2003; 160:1203
[CrossRef]
 
Faust D: Forensic neuropsychology: the art of practicing a science that does not yet exist. Neuropsychol Rev  1991; 2:205–231
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Blau T: The Psychologist as Expert Witness, 2nd ed. New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1998
 
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References

Gabbard GO: Psychodynamic Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, 3rd ed. Arlington, Va, American Psychiatric Publishing, 2003
 
Grossman J: Book review, TG Gutheil, RI Simon: Mastering Forensic Psychiatric Practice: Advanced Strategies for the Expert Witness. Am J Psychiatry  2003; 160:1203
[CrossRef]
 
Faust D: Forensic neuropsychology: the art of practicing a science that does not yet exist. Neuropsychol Rev  1991; 2:205–231
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Blau T: The Psychologist as Expert Witness, 2nd ed. New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1998
 
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