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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D. (Cermak Health Services)
Description: This practitioner's guide to treatments for conduct disorders uses one case study to present eight different approaches to treatment, with each contributor answering the same questions on how he or she would handle the case.
Purpose: According to the editors, "The focus of this book is to have practicing clinicians from different theoretical orientations discuss what they feel works best with children and adolescents who present with conduct-disordered problems." According to the series editor, Arthur Freeman, "our goal in this series is not to examine who is better than whom, or what model works better than other models, but rather to examine and to compare, as clearly as we can, the similarities and differences between different psychotherapeutic approaches. To do this most efficiently, we have used a standard patient. All contributors were asked to respond to the sample case prepared by the volume editors. In this way the reader can compare the thinking, conceptualization, interventions, and questions that would be asked by the contributing authors."
Audience: The book is designed for novice and seasoned clinicians alike. Graduate students in clinical/counseling psychology and social work would gain much because it compares various treatment approaches side-by-side.
Features: First, the book provides the case presentation (background and psychological assessment), along with the questions for the therapists, which include: treatment, therapist's skills and attributes, conceptualization, treatment implications and outcome, potential pitfalls, and termination and relapse prevention, to name a few. Contributors from eight different treatment perspectives then answer the questions. The final chapter compares and contrasts the approaches. A wonderful appendix presents a summary of each treatment model side-by-side, without comment. This book gives readers a chance to see how each perspective would deal with such a difficult adolescent problem. Graduate students and novice practitioners are the real winners because they can decide which approach they want to use. In this day and age of eclecticism, it is important for therapists to own a major and minor theoretical approach, which will add clarity to their clinical style and thinking. This book (and series) will help do just that. This volume is well written, easy to read, and the contributors really do answer the referral questions.
Assessment: This is a great book for both graduate students and newly graduated mental health professionals. It teaches the important concepts in each model related to conduct disorders and shows how the models compare and contrast. The goal here is not to say one approach is better than the others. The main point is to see conventional models presented side-by-side. Readers will be challenged to choose one or two camps as their preferred perspective. This is what a good book should do, convey information and let readers decide what they want to do with it.