This comprehensive yet practical handbook consolidates information needed by health psychologists working alongside other healthcare professionals. It facilitates the progression of the learner from the classroom to the clinical setting by focusing on the translation of science to practice using practical examples. The Handbook is divided into four major parts. Part I highlights practical issues faced by health psychologists in a medical setting (how to motivate patients, consultation-liaison, assessment and screening, brief psychotherapies, ethical issues, etc.) Part II concentrates on treating unhealthy behaviors (alcohol and nicotine use, noncompliance, overeating/obesity, physical inactivity, stress). Part III considers behavioral aspects of medical problems (pain management, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, sexual dysfunction, HIV/AIDS, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia). And Part IV takes up special issues relevant to practice and research in the field (minority issues, women’s issues, working with geriatric populations, public health approaches to health psychology and behavioral medicine). The Handbook will prove to be an invaluable resource for those already working in the field of health psychology as well as for those in training.

Alcohol Problems: Causes, Definitions, and Treatments

Alcohol problems: Causes, definitions, and treatments

What causes alcoholism? Or, put another way, why is it that although so many people consume alcohol on a regular basis, only a small minority become dependent? This seemingly straightforward question has bewitched clinicians and researchers for centuries. Only recently, with generous help from the disciplines of molecular genetics and neuroscience, have behavioral scientists begun to piece together this age-old puzzle. Part of the problem lies in the way in which alcohol dependence is defined and conceptualized. Another concern is that we have yet to identify the proverbial “switch”—that functional entity (biological, psychological, or otherwise) that “transforms” a nondependent consumer of alcohol into one who is alcoholic. But perhaps most critically, the parallel ...

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