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From The CriticsReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Psychotherapy has always been entrenched in the realities of business, whether it is in terms of private practice or work in a clinic or hospital setting. Many training programs ignore the business aspects and instead focus on the therapeutic approaches themselves. This book takes a broader look at cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a practice within a larger healthcare and business setting.
Purpose: The intent is to provide instruction in CBT techniques and to do so within the larger systemic context without losing sight of the empirical basis for the approach.
Audience: The authors point out that this book is principally intended for individuals learning psychotherapy in the field of psychology, psychiatry, and mental health. They also hope that the ideas will reinforce the work being done by seasoned clinicians and offer some small nuggets of additional wisdom. The authors are university faculty and practicing clinicians.
Features: A case study runs throughout this book and each chapter includes abstracts. The book begins with an outline of an intake interview. There are suggestions for standardized measures, as well as a couple of very useful tables delineating pertinent information to gather and ways to phrase questions for different parts of the interview. Next the book describes the integration of information and case conceptualization with a sample report. Planning for therapy is next with a discussion of how goal setting in research may or may not apply to clinical settings. A sample therapy contract is provided to set realistic expectations and to specify business aspects of therapy, such as fee structure and policies. Single chapters cover basic skills, behavioral change, restructuring cognitions, and modifying core beliefs. While this is a good introduction to CBT, readers should not expect comprehensive instruction in CBT. The authors continue to weave in the practicalities of conducting CBT in a practical setting with some suggestions about how to make the most of the limited sessions clinicians have. There are discussions of the empirical basis for CBT, as well as common myths associated with this approach. Finally, a chapter is dedicated to starting a practice and methods for assuring competence of practitioners. The Cognitive Therapy Scale is included as an appendix.
Assessment: This is a worthwhile book for students becoming familiar with CBT. It reviews the tenets of CBT and updates information from classic texts. The integration of practical issues is valuable for navigating the systemic constraints placed on therapy by business realities. Supervisors and clinical faculty would greatly benefit from the book's resources in the instruction of trainees.