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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D. (Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book focuses on low-intensity cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) interventions, which are useful and cost-effective for the treatment of patients with less severe psychological disorders. The goal of this treatment approach is to use CBT principles and techniques with less therapeutic intervention.
Purpose: The editors' goal was to gather all the new models and practices that are collectively known as low intensity CBT interventions in one book and "to showcase the extraordinary new range of LI CBT interventions that are currently revolutionizing the delivery of mental health services."
Audience: They deem the book "essential reading for any psychologist, nurse, social worker, occupational therapist, psychiatrist, GP, physician, counselor or low intensity practitioner wishing to acquire the skills necessary for modern mental health care practice." Graduate students in clinical psychology and social work would benefit as well. The 12 editors and 83 authors represent the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands.
Features: An introduction to conceptual models and definitions begins the book, and the rationale for low intensity CBT is clearly explained. The book then details specific techniques and applications, including assessment and evaluation, treating depression and anxiety, self-help classes, and the use of the therapy via the telephone and the Internet. It also covers preventive measures. After a section on how to train practitioners, the book ends with a discussion of the need for systemic change in order for health delivery systems to adopt low intensity CBT interventions as well as explain these services to the general public and increase access by underserved communities. I found interesting the chapter on a patient-led approach, which allows clients to determine how often they will see the therapist and which is supported by research. The book uses numerous tables and figures, and each chapter has a box of take-home messages. Overall, the book is practical, presenting informative case material.
Assessment: This excellent book addresses an important new topic in a comprehensive manner. It brings mental healthcare into the 21st century with a wide variety of interventions, including Internet and self-help resources. The international authorship reveals many different opinions, but on a common theme — the effectiveness of low-intensity CBT techniques. This is must reading for CBT practitioners.