By Julia Grimaldi

Dr. Avidan Milevsky’s new book that comes out this December. Photo courtesy of University Relations
Dr. Avidan Milevsky’s new book that comes out this December.
Photo courtesy of University Relations

KU’s Dr. Avidan Milevsky, an associate psychology professor, wrote a book scheduled to be released on. Dec.15, 2014 by the Springer Publishing Company. “Understanding Adolescents for Helping Professionals,” explains to professionals how to distinguish between normal and abnormal behaviors.

Recently, the counseling licensure requirements changed so that lifespan development is a required course for counselors-in-training. However, adolescent development is not. According to the KU press release, this is what ultimately inspired Milevsky to write “Understanding Adolescents for Helping Professionals.” He believes that this change will affect a conseler’s ability to understand normal adolescent development, especially when it comes to over-diagnosis or misdiagnosis.

“Most of the time, adolescents behave normally,” Milevsky explained in a KU press release. “Even when they’re acting in certain ‘crazy’ ways, they’re engaging in ordinary behavior. But they can often be over, or misdiagnosed, when their actions are misconstrued as clinical in nature. Much of the current literature on adolescent development focuses on maladjustment and diagnosis. But how can you diagnose a teenager without first understanding what normal development looks like?”

In the book, Milevsky also covers physical, cognitive and social aspects of adolescent development. Though Milevsky’s career focuses on psychology—he works as a psychology professor at KU and a psychotherapist at Wellspring Counseling in Towson, Md—his book is intended for anyone who works with teenagers. This may include: social workers, nurses, doctors and nutritionists. The book includes interviews with professionals to show people how the chapters can be applied to different fields.

Milevsky currently has another book under review that focuses on siblings of those with special needs.

For more information about “Understanding Adolescents for Helping Professionals” or to pre-order a copy, visit

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