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From The CriticsReviewer: Peter B. Zeldow, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This book first introduces the reader to social skills training and then offers standardized skills training programs for increasing self-awareness, awareness of others, communication skills, assertiveness, and problem-solving ability. The theoretical orientation is cognitive-behavioral, with an emphasis on empirically derived, highly structured procedures amenable to short-term treatment.
Purpose: The book is intended to serve "as a guide to clinical practice" and a "convenient reference source to skills training in the areas of self-awareness, communication, assertiveness, problem-solving, and coping with inhibitory anxiety." The blending of social skills training and cognitive therapy provides an innovative and practical program of treatment.
Audience: Although intended primarily as a manual for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and other mental health professionals, this handbook can also serve as a textbook for advanced graduate students and other trainees interested in these techniques.
Features: The references, subject index, and author index are all adequate. There are a small number of useful tables and figures, including worksheets, instructions, and clinical vignettes. Each of the nine chapters provides a pragmatic and carefully organized introduction to its topic, followed by a clinical program of skills training based on a four-part model of instruction, supervised practice, feedback, and independent practice.
Assessment: This book is nothing if not practical. The authors adopt a straightforward, no-nonsense approach to treatment that will have widespread appeal. The brief discussions of the relationship context in which these treatments take place reveal the sophistication of the authors.