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From The CriticsReviewer: Patricia M. Meaden, PhD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is a valuable handbook for implementing a cognitive-behavioral approach to psychotherapy in conjunction with medication management for bipolar patients. The authors address the difficulties and advantages of working with bipolar patients and their families. This realistic approach seeks to enhance medication compliance and reduce psychosocial stressors to improve outcomes in this chronic population.
Purpose: This handbook provides an adjunct treatment methodology to be used in conjunction with pharmacotherapy for bipolar patients. The authors offer a detailed, semi-structured psychotherapy model that incorporates established cognitive-behavioral techniques that they have customized for use in the treatment of patients with bipolar disorder.
Audience: The authors have written this book for therapists and researchers who would be in a position to provide help for bipolar patients and their families.
Features: The organization, illustration, and case examples in this book offer a wealth of information to guide the practitioner in psychotherapy. Of particular interest are the well-illustrated homework assignments and checklists to be used by the therapist in providing consistent, thorough care to patients and their families. The reference list includes boldface type for information recommended as reading assignments for patients.
Assessment: Bipolar patients are reputedly difficult to work with in psychotherapy. As pharmaceutical advances have been made in the treatment of this disorder, it is not surprising that interest in psychosocial interventions has diminished. As the authors point out, however, psychosocial stressors continue to influence the onset and course of this disorder. Using well-established techniques that have been successful in improving outcomes for patients with other affective disorders, these highly experienced authors have made an excellent contribution to providing a useful means of establishing and maintaining psychotherapeutic relationships with bipolar patients. Their model also lends itself well to use in research settings where the effectiveness of this approach can be empirically validated.