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From The CriticsReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Effective treatments for PTSD have been scarce, but there is promise with prolonged exposure therapy (PE). Although it is being incorporated into adult populations, especially in the military, there is relatively little literature focusing on its use in adolescents. This book, from the Programs That Work series, bridges that chasm.
Purpose: The main purpose of this book is to introduce CBT therapists who are already familiar with PE therapy to its use in adolescents.
Audience: Mental health professionals, particularly psychologists, are the target audience. Students in graduate psychology programs will also find this of benefit as they expand their therapy knowledge. The editors are leading experts in this area and were involved in the development of PE therapy.
Features: The first chapter begins with a description of the state of the science related to CBT as a treatment for PTSD, as well as studies specific to PE therapy in this clinical population. This is followed by a description of the adaptations made to PE therapy for adolescents and issues involved in treatment with adolescents. There is an optional module on motivational interviewing, but it assumes familiarity with this approach. Logistical considerations are covered, such as parental involvement, confidentiality, suicide risk, crisis coping plan, and the treatment schedule. Chapters on the modules of PE therapy include sample scripts, questions, and suggestions for real-life experiments. While these are certainly helpful, they are not very detailed and assume familiarity with PE therapy. Appendixes add stories, cards, and parent handouts. Although the accompanying workbook was not available for review, the workbooks in this series have generally been very helpful. There is no index and the references could be more current, but they are sufficient.
Assessment: For readers with a background in CBT and PE therapy, this is a quick reference that guides them in the adaptation of PE therapy for PTSD to an adolescent population. It is a worthwhile purchase along with the workbook, but will not be helpful for therapists wanting to learn PE therapy.