This handbook has been purposefully created to focus on Australian and New Zealand (NZ) abnormal psychology research, statistics, and applied practice. This handbook has thus been designed with a specific structure for ease of use. Specifically, after general handbook rationale and structure information is offered, some basic information regarding abnormal psychology and applied practice is provided. This presentation is followed by a brief examination of the cultural and demographic compositions of Australia and NZ and related resources. The bulk of this handbook then examines various psychological disorders. Finally, the handbook concludes with an examination of two psychological practice-related items relevant to abnormal psychology: suicide and non-suicidal self-harm and then mandated or involuntary treatment.
As noted previously, the bulk of this handbook focuses on various psychological disorders. The disorders examined are those presented in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013), and are in the same order as in the DSM-5. The exceptions to this presentation are those disorders for which there was limited Australian- and NZ-based information to justify inclusion in this handbook. Therefore, this handbook examines 17 specific disorders (or areas of treatment foci) whereas the DSM-5 presents a greater number of diagnostic categories.
For each disorder (or area of treatment focus) examined, a standard organisation has been maintained for presentation. Explicitly, contributing authors have been asked to begin with an introduction to each disorder (or area of treatment focus) including an examination of signs and symptoms, followed by an examination of the presentation of same in Australia and then NZ including incidence and prevalence, and then to present a case example. Cases have been chosen to focus on either an Australian or NZ example, and to comply with ethical standards relating to the presentation of client information for educational purposes (specifically, either a created or composite example is presented). Specific de-identified client material has only been used with the written permission of said client (Australian Psychological Society, 2007). Authors have identified research and practice support information specific to both Australia and NZ. References are provided for readers who wish to explore the topics examined in context in greater detail.
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