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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D. (Cermak Health Services)
Description: This is a detailed coping skills training guide for addressing alcohol dependent clients. It includes training to deal with interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills, and coping with urges. This second edition addresses changes in the field including health maintenance organizations, pharmacological treatments for alcohol dependence, motivation enhancement strategies which prepare clients for change, and dual-diagnosis. The first edition was published in 1989.
Purpose: According to the authors, the book presents a cognitive-social learning perspective on alcohol abuse and dependence. The authors believe that clients who learn a variety of alternative coping techniques to address the demands of everyday living will be better able to resist alcohol. These are worthy objectives because so many people suffer from alcoholism and treatment in 28 day programs is becoming less and less common. The book meets the author's objectives.
Audience: The authors do not specifically say whom the target audience is but it is obvious that it is written for the practitioner who treats alcohol-dependent individuals. I believe that the book is a pragmatic guide for the practitioner in the field. The authors are credible authorities.
Features: This book is a skills training manual for treating alcohol-dependent individuals. The skills are thoroughly described including rationale, modeling, role play, and practice exercise. The book helps the practitioner to teach practical coping skills to the client. It is very readable and covers a wide variety of areas within interpersonal, intrapersonal, and urge coping domains.
Assessment: The book is excellent because it is a step-by-step training guide. It would be of great help for the novice therapist but has enough ideas for even the most seasoned veteran. This second edition does justify replacing the previous edition given that the first one was published over a decade ago and that there are new issues which have arisen. The influence of managed care, reduction of 28-day programs, pharmacological treatment strategies, and dual diagnosis concerns are variables which have influenced the way we do our work.