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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Nishad J. Nadkarni, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book attempts to fulfill the ambitious goal of serving as a guide to facilitate understanding of strategies for approaching cases and conceptualizing treatment strategies, with a strong emphasis on the use of brief, time-limited therapies.
Purpose: Given the time constraints and realities of today's practice environment, a primer on the use of brief therapies for various types of psychopathology is the aim of this guidebook. As well, it seeks to introduce the use of these treatment strategies in certain special patient populations.
Audience: The book is clearly targeted at the nascent clinician who requires guidance in the initiation and maintenance of brief therapy. Such a clinician may be a beginning social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, or student of these respective disciplines.
Features: In presenting an overview of brief therapy this book attempts to introduce treatment strategies for a wide variety of psychopathologies including depression, anxiety disorders, and Axis II conditions as well as their comorbidities. It also introduces issues of treatment in areas not often covered in books this size, specifically paraphilias, pathological gambling, and gay/lesbian/bisexual patients.
Assessment: Although the goal for this work is ambitious, its size unfortunately precludes anything more than a most cursory overview of brief therapy strategies for various psychiatric conditions. Some serious omissions include the lack of even introductory information about the integration of psychopharmacological strategies into these therapeutic efforts, as well as a disappointing paucity of practical, "how-to" instruction in the application of these brief therapies. This latter omission is particularly problematic considering the target audience of trainee-type clinicians. Other, more comprehensive and larger texts would likely serve the purpose better.