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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes a cognitive therapy approach to conceptualizing and treating DSM-IV personality disorders. This second edition updates the original publication of 1990.
Purpose: According to the authors, "As we considered the reasons to pursue a revised edition of this volume, a number of issues influenced our decision. First, cognitive therapy of the personality disorders has continued to expand in the 14 years since the first edition. Our experience as cognitive therapists has grown, as we see even more clearly both the value and the challenge of this potentially powerful therapeutic approach. Much has been gained in the way of new empirical evidence. Several of the authors who contributed to the first edition were ready to add the richness and depth of an additional decade of experience to their original clinical applications. We were also able to enlist the help of several new authors who have made major contributions in their areas of expertise in recent years, adding a fresh and up-to-date perspective to enhance the core of our original work. Finally, we wanted to expand the original offering in the areas of clinical assessment, and through more discussion of the role of emotions and the therapy relationship in cognitive therapy with personality disorders." These are very important objectives, which the book meets.
Audience: According to the authors, the book is targeted for "clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, counselors, and other mental health practitioners, as well as students and residents in these fields. It will serve as a core text in advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level courses and in psychiatric residency programs." The authors and contributors are very credible authorities in the subject matter of the book, including Drs. Aaron Beck and Arthur Freeman, who are prolific writers and researchers in the field.
Features: "The first part of the book covers history, theory, and research and the second, clinical applications. In part two, each personality disorder includes an introduction, historical and empirical data, differential diagnosis, and conceptualization. The treatment approach is clearly stated. Case examples are included so the reader can see how the cognitive strategy is applied. The book also covers passive-aggressive personality disorder (negativistic personality disorder), a DSM-IV-TR proposed diagnosis for further study. The book is written by prominent people in the field, is easy to read, and the approach is clearly delineated. If you want to know about cognitive therapy as applied to personality disorders, this is the book to read. "
Assessment: I really enjoyed this book because it contains the ABC's of cognitive therapy. The case examples are poignant and you can see how cognitive therapy principles are applied with each patient. Many of the authors are household names in the field, prominent experts who know what they are talking about. This second edition is worth having, given the tremendous research base developed in the last decade and the ongoing clinical experience of the authors, some of whom contributed to the first edition.