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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: Part of the Guides to Individualized Evidence-Based Treatment series, this book focuses on applying dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) concepts to patients with multiple serious problems, such as those with self-destructive behaviors and personality disorders and also may be impacted by homelessness, poverty, or unemployment.
Purpose: According to the preface, "this book shows why, when, and how to use the principles and strategies of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) in individual psychotherapy." It is designed as a user's guide, with clinical vignettes and step-by-step descriptions.
Audience: It is intended for clinical psychologists, social workers, counselors, and psychiatrists, "both experienced DBT therapists and those seeking new ideas for addressing tough-to-treat problems." The author is the founder and creative director of the Evidence-Based Practice Institute and is an expert clinician in DBT, as well as a trainer and supervisor. She also has worked closely with Marsha Linehan, the developer of DBT.
Features: An introduction to DBT begins the book, which posits that serious psychological problems develop due to pervasive emotion dysregulation. Next, it shows how to translate symptoms into treatment plans, along with understanding the dynamics of the case. Most of the book is spent discussing specific treatment strategies, including change strategies (e.g. orienting, didactic, skills training, contingency management), validation strategies (e.g., when, how, what to validate), and dialectical strategies. Chapter six, "Assess, Motivate, and Move" brings it all together and shows how the treatment strategies can be integrated to address the presenting problems. The book ends with a discussion of the importance of consultation teams to improve the delivery of services to clients. Numerous figures and tables help to clarify the text and the case examples show how DBT theory is applied in a practical way.
Assessment: This practical book teaches how to apply DBT theory to clinical problems, providing concrete ideas regarding the therapeutic process. The numerous case vignettes are excellent and create the effect of having a mentor telling you how to proceed. If you want to learn more about DBT, this is the book to have. When Marsha Linehan writes the foreword to a book on DBT, you know that it is a work that stays true to DBT theory and practice.