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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D. (Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes the principles and empirically supported techniques of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). This evidence-based approach is critical in these days of managed healthcare and economic crisis.
Purpose: In the words of the editors, "Our major interest in compiling the book was twofold: First, we noted the lack of a volume that provides detailed descriptions of the techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy. Many books mentioned these but few described the techniques in detail. The absence of a comprehensive collection of the methods of cognitive-behavior therapy creates a gap in the training of students and in the faithful practice of cognitive behavior therapy. Second, with the increased interest in cognitive behavior therapy, particularly by the payers in managed care, there has been an increasing bastardization of behavior therapy. Some therapists are claiming they are administering some technique (e.g., relapse prevention or contingency management) when they clearly are not. This phenomenon, in our experience, rarely involves intentional deception but instead reflects an ignorance of the complexities of faithfully implementing these techniques. This book is aimed at reducing this problem."
Audience: The book is aimed at both students and clinicians. Both editors are from University of Nevada, Reno, where William T. O'Donohue is professor of clinical psychology and Jane E. Fisher is professor of psychology and former director of clinical training. Over 150 authors contribute to the book.
Features: General principles underlying cognitive behavior therapy, including assessment and cultural competence, begin the book. The remaining chapters (74) describe various cognitive behavior techniques which have an empirical research base. The chapters are fairly short, though they include numerous references. Figures and tables are very helpful in clarifying the book. Both an author and subject index end the book. The strength of this book lies in its introduction to many different techniques. The authors discuss well known techniques such as relaxation, anger control, assertiveness, cognitive restructuring, and parent training as well as less known techniques such as cognitive defusion, expressive writing, matching law, urge surfing, and values clarification. Many of the movers and shakers are among the contributors, including Arnold Lazarus, Albert Ellis, Marsha Linehan, and Donald Meichenbaum. The book is easy to read and practical, with brief clinical examples.
Assessment: The many techniques described in this book can be used to address a whole host of clinical problems. Written by experts in the field, the book will be useful for both novices and seasoned veterans. It is must reading for those who want to be more proficient in CBT theory and technique.