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Substantially revised to include a wealth of new material, the second edition of this highly acclaimed work provides a concise, coherent introduction that brings structure to an increasingly fragmented and amorphous discipline. Paul R. McHugh and Phillip R. Slavney offer an approach that emphasizes psychiatry's unifying concepts while accommodating its diversity. Recognizing that there may never be a single, all-encompassing theory, the book distills psychiatric practice into four explanatory methods: diseases, dimensions of personality, goal-directed behaviors, and life stories. These perspectives, argue the authors, underlie the principles and practice of all psychiatry. With an understanding of these fundamental methods, readers will be equipped to organize and evaluate psychiatric information and to develop a confident approach to practice and research.