Behavioral experiments are one of the central and most powerful methods of intervention in cognitive therapy. Yet until now, there has been no volume to guide clinicians wishing to design and implement behavioral experiments. Behavioural Experiments in Cognitive Therapy fills this gap. It is written by clinicans for clinicians. It is a practical, easy to read handbook, which is relevant for practicing clinicians at every level, from trainees to cognitive therapy supervisors.
Following an introduction by David Clark, the first two chapters provide a theoretical and practical background for the understanding and development of behavioral experiments. Therafter, the remaining chapters of the book focus on particular problem areas. These include problems which have been the traditional focus of cognitive therapy, such as depression and anxiety disorders, as well as those which have only once more recently become a subject of study, such as bipolar disorder and psychotic symptoms. Additionally, it includes some which are still int their relative infancyphysical health problems, and brain injury. The book includes several chapters on transdiagnostic problems, such as avoidance of affect, low self-esteem, interpersonal issues, and self-injurious behavior. A final chapter by Christine Padesky provides some signposts for future development.
Containing examples of over 200 behavioral experiments, this book will be of enormous practical value for all those involved in cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as stimulting exploration in both its readers and their patients.
Reviewer:Steven T. Herron, MD(University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description:Broken down into chapters with a focus limited to the topic at hand, this book offers clinicians an outline of various behavioral experiments that can be utilized in a cognitive structure to improve patient outcomes for various psychiatric symptoms.
Purpose:Written "by clinicians for clinicians," it provides a "source of ideas which will stimulate the creativity of clinicians" attempting to design experiments for cognitive therapy patients.
Audience:Meant for "practicing clinicians at every level from trainee to cognitive therapy supervisor," this book will benefit those with an understanding of this therapy type, as the editors assume readers have a working knowledge of the concepts of cognitive therapy.
Features:Divided into chapters addressing particular psychiatric difficulties, the authors highlight types of cognitive distortions most common to certain illnesses and provide case-based examples of experimental techniques used to assist patients in confronting these patterns. The chapters discussing an approach to symptoms such as insomnia, self-injurious behavior, and low self-esteem are particularly useful, as these concepts are often minimized when addressed as a part of larger problem.
Assessment:Often clinicians have an appreciation for the concepts of a given therapy, especially when it relates to a type of illness they are more comfortable treating, but struggle when issues arise that separate them from their familiarity. This book provides an excellent resource for keeping clinicians "on their toes" regarding cognitive techniques. Many books about cognitive therapy spend more effort explaining the reasoning behind its use, or identifying the specific thought patterns involved in certain types of illnesses. Yet they are less forthcoming with practical applications to "real world" problems faced by therapists on a daily basis. This book bridges the gap nicely, offering clinicians ideas for a starting point that will, ideally, serve as a springboard to new and inventive approaches to treatment.