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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: This easy-to-read book "explores the implications of a functional paradigm for understanding the clinician's role" in handling moral aspects of several common clinical concerns.
Purpose: The author's purpose in writing this book is to "offer a more adequate framework for discussing and approaching moral issues arising in treatment." As these issues are rarely discussed in clinical settings during training, the author's attempt to address them is quite relevant to clinical practice.
Audience: Those treating patients in therapy are the most appropriate audience for this book, whether social worker, master's level therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Clinicians early in their career may find discussion of these issues particularly useful. However, seasoned practitioners may also find these topics relevant.
Features: Divided into eight chapters, this book highlights clinical areas frequently riddled with practitioners' moral questions. For example, one chapter focuses on "Shaping the Direction of Treatment," an area ripe with uncertainty among inexperienced therapists. Algorithms detail approaches to these problems, mainly using as a foundation the therapeutic relationship and goals of the parties involved. Readers may find the numerous clinical vignettes particularly useful as they address challenging issues in therapy. These vignettes often remind practicing therapists of their own caseloads, or cause clinicians to consider unexplored issues.
Assessment: This book presents complex clinical questions in a digestible manner. It also causes the reader to contemplate their own clinical practice and therapeutic approach to comp1icated topics. Yet, the reader purchasing this book will be disappointed if expecting answers to these moral dilemmas. While the issues discussed are thought provoking, the algorithms suggested for reaching solutions to these problems are somewhat simplistic, and oftentimes employ general common sense. However, this book addresses many difficult and challenging clinical questions frequently ignored in the training of therapists and is a va1uable read for those conducting any type of therapy.