Lorna Smith Benjamin

The latest in SASB and IRT


Descriptions and Reviews of Books

Overview of the 3 books

All three of Dr. Benjamin’s books are theoretically based on SASB, which in turn, is founded on principles from primatology and ethology.  In her first book (Interpersonal Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorder), Dr. Benjamin used SASB based descriptions to construct interpersonal descriptions of the DSM-IV diagnoses of personality disorder. Using SASB predictive principles, likely developmental antecedents as well as recommended treatment responses were proposed. In her second book (Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy, IRT), Lorna Smith Benjamin described a highly specific method of developing case formulations for individuals rather than for categories, as in DSM. The case formulations are used to direct every treatment intervention an individual. In her third book, now in draft (Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy for anger, anxiety and depression), Dr. Benjamin relates mainstream “natural biology” to symptoms of anger, anxiety and depression and reminds readers that these “symptoms” naturally predispose adaptive behaviors (e.g. when threatened, anger and fear predispose fight or flight). If these normally adaptive affective and behavioral links appear when there is no actual threat, then the natural affects become “symptoms.”  The clinician is tasked with helping the patient identify the maladaptive rules and values that lead to misperception of threat and then engage in exercises directed by IRT theory to reprogram the affect regulators.

1.     Benjamin, L.S. Interpersonal Diagnosis and Treatment of Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Press.  First edition, 1993; Second edition, 1996; paperback edition 2003.

 2.     Benjamin, L. S. Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy (IRT): an integrative personality-based treatment for complex cases. New York: Guilford Press. (2003; paperback edition 2006)

3.   Benjamin, L.S.  Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy for Anger, Anxiety and Depression: it’s about broken hearts, not broken brains.  American Psychological Association.  Published in April, 2018.  Available at Amazon.com and the books section on the American Psychological Association’s website.



One comment on “Books

  1. Dr Lesley LeFevre
    December 8, 2017

    I’d love to read excepts, of IRT, it’s about broken hearts, not brains.

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