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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Although mental health professionals may have extensive training in traditional psychotherapeutic interventions, they may be ill equipped to treat a patient in crisis. Consequently, many clinicians are in need of a concise, practical book on crisis intervention. This is just such a reference, updated with this third edition.
Purpose: The purpose of this book is two-fold: to present current research findings regarding cognitive-behavioral interventions for crisis management and to offer a rich clinical perspective to complement the scholarly work.
Audience: Although intended mainly for psychologists and psychiatrists, other healthcare professionals who are involved in crisis interventions will find this useful, such as social workers, marriage and family therapists, and nurses. The book assumes a fairly substantial understanding of psychotherapeutic principles and is not intended as a training manual. The editors and contributing authors are experts in the field.
Features: The four major sections of the book include psychological crises, medically-related crises, child and family crises, and environmental and situational crises. Within each section are several chapters focused on a specific crisis, such as suicide, traumatic brain injury, or child sexual abuse. The book has been reorganized since the second edition and a few new chapters have been added (e.g., terrorism), but at the expense of others (e.g., traumatized psychotherapists). Each chapter is well organized with reviews of the literature on the factors surrounding, leading up to, and maintaining the crisis, as well as the effectiveness of particular interventions. The crisis is often broken down into manageable units. For example, the chapter on suicide is broken down into subsections addressing cognitive models of depression, the role of hopelessness, risk factors, subtypes of motivation for suicide, assessment, and interventions. Throughout the book, readers will find clinical guidelines, suggestions for working with patients, and case examples. The later chapters covering environmental and situational crises are especially pertinent in light of recent terrorist acts and the ongoing military deployment. When appropriate, ethical issues are discussed, as might occur with child or elder abuse, but there is a lengthier discussion of ethical and legal issues in the last chapter. The tables and figures are helpful, and the sample scripts of intervention sessions are illuminating.
Assessment: This book provides a magnificent introduction to crisis intervention, a superb review of the current literature, and a valuable clinical reference through case examples. Practicing clinicians will surely find this indispensable and it is a must-read for students in mental health disciplines.