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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: John K. Larson, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: The authors for this ambitious volume provide an exhaustive review of over 900 scholarly references and offer a unified representation of the cognitive theory of depression heretofore unavailable.
Purpose: The purpose is to present recent theoretical developments in cognitive theory and the most current empirical support for the cognitive therapy of depression.
Audience: The primary audience includes psychotherapy researchers and advanced practitioners of cognitive therapy but should also appeal to psychotherapists at all levels of experience who desire a comprehensive exploration of the topic.
Features: The book contains eleven chapters, an unusually complete reference section, an author index, and a subject index. The authors begin with a general overview of depressive symptoms with diagnostic and conceptual considerations followed by an historical overview and an exploration of the philosophical basis of cognitive theory. The remainder of the book includes an in-depth analysis of the empirical status of numerous hypotheses of the cognitive model including negativity, exclusivity, content specificity, selective processing, schema activation, diathesis-stress, and differential treatment response. There are no figures or tables. The writing is uniformly excellent. The authors intentionally limit the scope to depression and hint at possible future volumes on other diagnoses.
Assessment: This book is an extremely successful effort to reflect the development of cognitive theory over the past thirty years. It is not intended as a "how to" guide and its scholarly depth and comprehensiveness may put off the casual reader. However, for the most complete and thoughtful analysis of the current state of cognitive theory, the serious reader need look no further.