Psychological Aspects of Women's Health Care: The Interface Between Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology (2nd ed.) Nada L. Stotland and Donna E. Stewart (Eds.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press (www.appi.org). 2001, 654 pp., $67.50 (paperback).
It seems obvious that women have different health care needs and concerns than men and it is important for mental health professionals to be aware of the specific questions and concerns that may impact their female patients. Therefore it is important for mental health professionals to have access to information about women's health issues and to be able to understand the relationship between this area of health care and psychological issues. This book is an attempt to address this relationship.
The book is organized into three sections with specific women's health themes of pregnancy, gynecology, and general issues. The first section covering pregnancy includes chapters that address normal and complicated pregnancies, psychiatric disorders during and after pregnancy and their treatment, as well as adolescent pregnancy, fetal anomalies, and perinatal loss.
The second section includes chapters that address gynecological issues over the lifespan including menstruation, infertility, abortion, menopause, medical and surgical treatment of gynecological disorders including pain and HIV.
The third section is a catchall of remaining topics that don't fit well into earlier sections and range from a psychodynamic perspective on reproductive choices, to women and violence. There are chapters included in this section addressing eating disorders, breast development and breast cancer, substance abuse as an issue in obstetrical and gynecological practice, health care concerns of lesbians, and ethics of women's health care. There are also some chapters in this section that seem to have been stuck in despite their lack of connection to the stated intention. This includes chapters on the "male" perspective and a chapter on definitions of a minority.
Since this review is intended for a journal that focuses on cognitive therapy it seems appropriate to ask what the book offers for the cognitive therapist. If we start with the assertion that what defines cognitive therapy is the conceptualization of the individual and their problem then it would be valuable for the cognitive therapist to incorporate understanding of the unique aspects of women's health concerns and health care into their conceptualization. …