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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D. (Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book takes a step-by-step approach to addressing treatment issues in depressed and suicidal adolescents, considering assessment, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and maintenance treatment.
Purpose: Noting that, "Adolescent depression is a prevalent, serious problem — and a major challenge for clinicians," this book is designed to "enhance the skills of any therapist who works with this difficult-to-treat population." Based on research and using "dozens of vivid case examples, it offers concrete guidance for effective assessment and treatment."
Audience: The book targets clinical psychologists, clinical social workers, counselors, and psychiatrists who work with adolescents and their families, although graduate students in these areas could benefit as well. Both David Brent and Tina Goldstein are from the department of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Brent is also the director of the STAR-Center (Services for Teens at Risk), where Kimberly D. Poling is clinical program manager.
Features: An introduction to adolescent depression and the development of the STAR program begins the book. It then discusses the assessment of suicidal ideation with five domains of inquiry: characteristics of current and past suicidal ideation and behavior; psychiatric disorder; psychological traits; family/environmental stressors and support; and availability of lethal methods. Treatment issues are addressed next, beginning with the very basics of structuring therapy sessions and enhancing the working relationship. The book shows how behavioral techniques (chain analysis, behavioral activation, relaxation methods) and cognitive therapy (cognitive distortions, core beliefs, cognitive restructuring, problem-solving) can help depressed individuals. Treatment-resistant depression is also covered. Finally, the book discusses maintenance treatment when an adolescent has achieved remission. The chapters are organized fairly uniformly, starting with "What you will learn in this chapter" and ending with key points. Numerous tables and figures help clarify the text. This step-by-step approach is extremely helpful in learning the therapeutic process and useful for novice therapists and seasoned veterans alike.
Assessment: This is a well-written resource, especially for inexperienced therapists who want a step-by-step approach. The case examples are extremely helpful in learning the therapeutic process.