Any reader who peruses a new textbook in a bookstore, online, or at a book fair or conference maintains a fervent hope that the text will illuminate, guide, shine, and—most of all—be practical and usable and will not simply gather dust on a bookshelf. There are just too many books and alas too little time, so the qualities prized above all are clarity and usefulness.
In the second edition of Anxiety Disorders in Adults: A Clinical Guide, author Vladan Starcevic in many ways succeeds in providing readers with clear, useful, and practical guidance. Wisely, he follows the contours of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) (DSM-IV) classification system, which—while not the end-all and be-all of psychiatric thinking—has shaped clinical encounters since its publication. Classification systems are useful in helping readers organize their thinking about evaluating and treating pathological anxiety. Six of the 7 chapters are organized along the major types of anxiety categories as in the DSM-IV. Each of these chapters is similarly written along familiar gridlines of clinical features, preclinical theories on etiology, biological and psychological treatments, and prognosis.