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Reality Therapy for the 21st Century 0 C. McNaught Reality Therapy for the 21st CenturyBook being reviewed:Wubbolding, R. (2000). Reality therapy for the 21st century. New York: Routledge. Reviewer:Chris McNaughtCurricular Areas:Assessment, Counselor Education, Helping Relationships/Counseling Theory, Supervision Subject Headings:Communication, Depression, Elementary school, Middle school, High schoolReview:Wubbolding presents a summary of Reality Therapy (RT) in twelve chapters. Starting with a group of case studies, Wubbolding challenges readers to examine their current beliefs and how they might interact with the clients in the case studies. The next three chapters explain the origins of Choice Theory and how RT is different than other therapeutic choices. Wubbolding moves into specific application of the therapy and interventions used. The author finishes with a research based rationale for the effectiveness of RT, citing a number of research studies that confirm the effectiveness of RT, while also stating the need for continued research. While RT is similar to REBT, the significant difference comes in the view of choice. RT "emphasizes choice as a means to more effective living rather than implying that a change in thinking is a prerequisite.” (p. 32) Choice Theory, upon which RT is based, comes from the idea that choice is a universal idea available to everyone. RT also has similarities with other counseling theories (p. 36-7): 1) People are essentially good. 2) People are responsible for their behavior and 3) behavior has a purpose. 4) Effective therapy is based on a positive counseling relationship.This text might be useful for any counselor wanting more information about how to incorporate Reality Therapy in their practice, or as a refresher for current reality therapists. This book could be especially useful for graduate students working to discover their theory of choice. Reality Therapy is suited to clients with almost any issue; to limit its use to specific kinds of clients would be to minimize Glasser’s belief in its purpose: Reality Therapy is intended for clients who want something different. It can be used in individual sessions, group work and is especially effective in marriage and family therapy. RT is respectful of cultural identity and is taught in countries all over the world. The therapeutic techniques and interventions can be adapted and modified to work with any culture, including cultures of country, language, minority status, religion, ethnicity and political association. Wubbolding includes specific recommendations for several cultural groups, using transcripts to demonstrate how RT language changes with different clients from different cultures.
by C. McNaught
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us 0 D. Eledge The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of UsBook being reviewed:Stout, M. (2005). The sociopath next door: the ruthless versus the rest of us. New York: Broadway Books. Reviewer:Dina EledgeCurricular Areas:Assessment, Counselor Education, Helping Relationships/Counseling Theory, Rehabilitation Counseling Subject Headings:Family dynamics, Personality disorders, Prison, Relationships, Substance abuse-alcohol, Substance abuse-drugs Review:Individuals with antisocial personality disorder have a unique set of symptoms and behavior patterns that not only affect their own lives, but the lives of others they come in contact with. It is the potential danger faced by those who come into contact with these individuals that makes this disorder particularly dark and disturbing. Stout (2005) calls antisocial personality disorder (APD) "A non-correctable disfigurement of character that is now thought to be present in about 4 percent of the population.” Throughout this book, readers learn how to identify individuals who suffer from APD - also called sociopaths. One of the key characteristics of someone with this disorder is a complete absence of conscience. They can do anything at all without any shame, remorse or guilt. Other traits are poor judgment, failure to learn from experience, extreme egocentricity, incapacity for love, a lack of emotional responsiveness to others, impulsivity, insincerity, and superficial charm.Antisocial Personality Disorder is commonly misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Clinicians often confuse this disorder with criminal behavior not associated with a personality disorder. The rate of co-morbidity is high and can present specific behavioral and prognostic challenges, depending upon the other condition. Treatment is tricky with these individuals, because the individual rarely comes to terms with the disorder, often blaming others for their behavior and predicament. However, there are a few options. CBT can help the individual begin to change maladaptive thought patterns in their relationships with others. Behavioral therapy might also be helpful in targeting and modifying the negative behavior. Antidepressants are sometimes prescribed to offset depression caused by the life circumstances often present in individuals with this disorder. Mood stabilizers may also help control some of the rage and anger these clients feel.Since the prevalence and severity of Antisocial Personality Disorder is likely to be greater among incarcerated samples, this book is a must-read for forensic counselors in training and anyone interested in working with clients with personality disorders.
by D. Eledge
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
An Unquiet Mind 0 R. Walling An Unquiet MindBook being reviewed:Jamison, K. R. (1995). An unquiet mind. New York: Vintage Books.Reviewer:Rachael WallingCurricular Areas:Counselor Education, Professional Identity Subject Headings:Bipolar disordersReview:Kay Redfield Jamison, Professor of Psychiatry, Co-Director of John Hopkins Mood Disorders Center, and board member of the National Network of Depression Centers has suffered from her own mental illness since she was seventeen. While pursuing her career in academic medicine and working with patients of mental illness, Jamison herself was struggling with Bipolar Disorder. She found herself acting out in violence, struggling with relationships, and riding the vicious roller coaster of Bipolar Disorder all while maintaining her professional character, hiding this from most of her co-workers.In her book, An Unquiet Mind, Jamison brings us into her deepest cycles of Bipolar allowing one to understand the disease from a personal perspective. At times it seems as though Jamison is defeated by the disorder but then displays courage, strength and power to defeat the cruel mania and depression.This exceptional personal memoir can assist a counselor in understanding how one may be able to work through a disorder, and also that mental illness can be anywhere. Even the most professional, proficient, and experienced individuals working to help those suffering from mental illness may be struggling themselves. Self-awareness, as well as awareness of those around us is extremely important especially to ensure proper care of clients.At times it seems unethical that Jamison continued her work during strong episodes of the disorder, but she continued to research, treat, and teach. She resisted medication many times which is something counselors experience by their clients.An Unquiet Mind is an exceptional book and a great read for anybody in the counseling field.
by R. Walling
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Play-based Interventions for Children and Adolescents... 0 J. Ware Play-based Interventions for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum DisordersBook being reviewed:Gallo-Lopez, L., & Rubin, L. C. (Eds.). (2012). Play-based interventions for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. New York, NY: Routledge. Reviewer:Jenifer Ware BalchCurricular Areas:Career Development, Counselor EducationSubject Headings:Elementary school, Middle school, High schoolReview:Play-Based Interventions for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders provides information regarding a wide variety of expressive, engaging, and play-based interventions to use when working with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is divided into four parts: Foundations, Individualized Play-Based Interventions, Programmatic Play-Based Intervention, and Expressive/Creative Interventions. Within these four parts, there are 17 chapters that cover a variety of topics. The first chapters focus on general play, explaining the neurobiology of play and play in children with ASD. Three chapters focus on individual play therapy, each from a different theoretical perspective: child-centered, developmental, and Jungian. There are also several chapters devoted to integrating various types of expressive arts into the therapeutic process, including art therapy, music therapy, dance/movement therapy, and sand tray. Other play-based approaches are also covered, including canine-assisted play therapy, family theraplay, play and drama therapy, LEGO-based play therapy, and filial therapy. In addition to the aforementioned interventions, this book has three chapters devoted to specific programs: DIR Floortime, The PLAY Project, and The ACT Project.This book is a wonderful resource for educators, supervisors, and practitioners working with children and adolescents with ASD. Educators can use this as a supplemental text for practicum and internship as well as courses about counseling children and adolescents, especially when covering special populations. This book can also be a great resource for supervisors to recommend to supervises, possibly practicing and reviewing specific techniques during supervision. Practitioners can use this resource as a guide to help further understand treatment approaches for clients. Each intervention chapter gives a brief overview and then discusses how the intervention can theoretically be applied to individuals with ASD. While there is not enough space in each chapter to provide all of the information necessary to implement the intervention, it is a good foundation for understanding the application to this specific population. If readers are not already familiar with the particular intervention, they can get a basic theoretical understanding from this book and then turn to other resources to learn more about specific implementation strategies.
by J. Ware
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Being a Brain-Wise Therapist 0 K. Purswell Being a Brain-Wise TherapistBook being reviewed:Badenoch, B. (2008). Being a brain-wise therapist. New York, NY: W. W. Norton.Reviewer:Katie PurswellCurricular Areas:Non-FictionSubject Headings:AdultReview:With the National Institute of Mental Health's new initiative that focuses on brain research, it is more important than ever that counselors have at least a minimal understanding of how the brain develops, particularly with regard to interpersonal relationships. Badenoch's (2008) book, Being a Brainwise Therapist, is one of the more accessible books that accomplishes this goal.Badenoch integrates attachment style research with neurobiology in a way that requires no special scientific knowledge and has significant implications for clinical work. Additionally, Badenoch conceptualizes mood and personality disorders through an interpersonal neurobiology framework, emphasizing the ways the brain organizes the relational experiences of individuals with these diagnoses. Finally, Badenoch provides some practical guidelines for working with individuals, families, parents, and children from an interpersonal neurobiology perspective. Throughout her book, Badenoch focuses on the power of the therapeutic relationship in helping individuals with traumatic interpersonal histories heal. She explains how counselors can help clients literally rewire their brains through providing an attuned, responsive relationship that "disconfirms" many of the client's previous detrimental relational experiences. Badenoch's ability to clearly explain complex neurobiology concepts and apply them in practical ways makes this book a valuable asset to any counselor's bookshelf.
by K. Purswell
Friday, August 7, 2015
The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies... 0 K. Hurt The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing MindBook being reviewed:Siegel, D. J., & Bryson, T. P. (2012).The whole-brain child: 12 revolutionary strategies to nurture your child’s developing mind. New York, NY: Bantam Books.Reviewer:Kara Hurt Curricular Areas:Human Development, Marital/Couple/Family Counseling Subject Headings:Family dynamics, Heath/wellness Review:In this book Siegel and Bryson (2012) present their brain science approach to helping parents and caregivers understand how children’s brains grow and develop so that they can help support integration between all of a child’s areas of the brain. Siegel and Bryson suggest that through understanding the basic structures of the brain, parents and caregivers such as counselors can help children more effectively respond to difficult experiences and develop foundations for social, emotional, and mental wellness. The book begins with an introduction to the concept of integration, which is connecting the different areas of the brain for better emotional and cognitive functioning. Next, horizontal and vertical integration are explored with many real-to-life examples to help parents and caregivers identify situations in which their children may be struggling with these types of dis-integration. Next, the authors focus on memories and how to help children integrate difficult or traumatic experiences from the past. Then the authors explore children’s ability to develop mindfulness and use it to make more reasoned choices and experience greater control in their lives. The last chapter addresses social connectedness and personal identity. Every chapter also contains practical suggestions and examples for implementing the 12 strategies outlined in the book. Each chapter includes a section with helpful animated scenarios to demonstrate the topic to children. Importantly, the chapters also include a section that addresses integration for adults, which allows parents and caregivers the opportunity to thoughtfully reflect on their own life experiences that have shaped their social, emotional, and mental health.This book would be directly applicable to the work of all counselors who work with children or parents of children, either in private practice, agencies, or schools. Counselors in community agencies or private practice may consider using this text as a foundation for psychoeducational groups or parent training seminars, beyond referring to the book as a resource for parents. Elementary school counselors may consider creating a curriculum to include aspects of the Whole Brain Child that can be implements at different grade levels. This text seamlessly dovetails with Siegel’s other books on interpersonal neurobiology such as Mindsight and The Developing Mind. Moreover, the philosophy of the whole brain child is congruent with many play therapy approaches such as Child Centered Play Therapy and Child-Parent Relationship Therapy. The text is written in such a way that the authors have created a safe space for parents to reflect on their parenting and other life experiences without judgment or reprimand. The authors also seem to have taken great care to make the interpersonal neurobiology accessible to a variety of adults from parents to professionals. This book is an excellent referral source for all adults but care should be taken to ensure that parents and caregivers are given the opportunity to obtain support and process any difficult emotional experiences that may come up should they choose to engage in personal reflections guided by the book.
by K. Hurt
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adult Asperger Syndrome 1 J. Castillo I have a client that is coming in that I believe may have this. This book was on my radar and was inquiring further about it to some colleagues. I came across your review of this book and it was most helpful!
by J. Littleton
Friday, February 5, 2016
The Appreciative Advising Revolution 0 D. Gibson The Appreciative Advising RevolutionBook Being Reviewed:Bloom, J. L., Hutson, B. L., & He, Y. (2008). The appreciative advising revolution. Urbana Champaign, IL: Stipes.Reviewer:Donna M. Gibson and C. RobinsonCurricular Areas:College Counseling/Student AffairsSubject Headings:College, Communication, High schoolReview:The 2008 book The Appreciative Advising Revolution provides a six-stage theoretical framework for working one-on-one with students. Although termed "advising," the appreciative framework is built on the theory of appreciative inquiry, which is currently used in hundreds of service-based fields and is applicable to any counseling and wellness service. Different from other models, the authors outline a method for counselors to emphasize asking positive, open-ended questions that elicit the strengths of a client. The framework is both exploratory and action-oriented and is built on seven years' of data demonstrating its effectiveness. The six phases of Appreciative Advising include Disarm, Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver, and Don't Settle. The Disarm phase emphasizes the importance of counselors' creating a safe, welcoming environment for clients. Social psychology literature demonstrates that clients determine if a counselor will be helpful within the first three seconds of interacting. Thus, the appreciative framework believes disarming a client early allows for a more impactful session. The Discover phase outlines a series of questions intended to elicit stories from the client; a counseling method called narrative inquiry. Sample questions include: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date? Or Tell me about a time when you positively impacted someone else's life? The Dream phase focuses on the "wildest hopes and dreams" of the client. A sample Dream question is: If salary, education, and time were irrelevant, what is your ideal job? The Design phase is where the counselor and client work together to co-create a plan. Tangible steps are outlined and referrals are made to encourage action. The Deliver phase is all about action for the client and follow-up for the counselor. Encouragement is provided and successes are celebrated. Finally, the Don't Settle phase asks the client to continue to raise his/her internal bar of expectation. This book provides counselors, advisors, and other one-on-one consultants with a new and innovative delivery method. Given the recent movement in positive psychology and emphasis on strengths, the Appreciative Advising framework can serve as a great resource for counselors. By emphasizing strengths and accomplishments, clients leave Appreciative sessions feeling empowered and more likely to engage in behaviors that are positive and beneficial; all of which can apply to a student's academic, personal/social, and career development needs.Originally posted on 12/6/2012 at
by D. Gibson
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Antisocial Personality Disorder 0 B. Stare Antisocial Personality Disorder: A Practitioner's Guide to Comparative TreatmentsBeing Reviewed:Rotgers, F., & Maniacci, M. (Eds.). (2006). Antisocial personality disorder: A practitioner's guide to comparative treatments. New York, NY: Springer.Reviewer:Bryan StareCurricular Areas:Helping Relationships/Counseling TheorySubject Headings:Personality disordersReview:In their book Antisocial Personality Disorder: A Practitioner's Guide to Comparative Treatments, editors Frederick Rotgers and Michael Maniacci compared and analyzed various treatment approaches using a case study of a client diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder. They stated specifically that the book is not intended to be a comprehensive survey of the treatment of APD, but rather a forum through which experts could discuss their preferred treatment models given the same client. They began by providing an introduction to the structure of the book and a brief overview of APD including its history, construct, current criteria for diagnosis and clinical implications. They then introduced readers to the case study of Frank, a fictional client referred to treatment for violating his parole. They summarized Frank's history of sordid antisocial and sometimes criminal behaviors along with his early family experiences and what is left of his current relationships. The editors then provided the readers with chapters written by proponents of various theoretical approaches to APD including: psychodynamic; Adlerian; biosocial learning; motivational interviewing; Criminal Lifestyle theory (eclectic); cognitive behavioral; Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and psychopharmacological. The authors of each chapter responded to 17 questions regarding appropriate treatment for Frank, summarized their treatment plans, and discussed limitations and other factors for consideration. The editors closed with a discussion of comparative treatments including agreements and disagreements by the various contributors and implications for the mental health care professional and treatment of APD. Professional counselors can use this book to obtain general knowledge on APD including various treatment modalities for the disorder. Professional counselors may find strategies put forth by the authors helpful in treating a client with similar symptoms as Frank. This may include individuals within the areas of criminal justice, substance abuse, or other clients who present with resistance or are difficult to get along with. The book may also be helpful with individuals suffering from other personality disorders as many of the authors cited research on comorbidity. I found the chapters on Dialectical Behavior Therapy and psychopharmacology to be the most interesting and informative. The authors of the DBT chapter emphasized understanding the client from their own personal context in order to make sense of harmful behaviors while at the same time remaining firm in placing emphasis on personal responsibility in doing something to change these behaviors. The psychopharmacology chapter is packed with information regarding research and various options and limitations of medication and the possible outcomes with a client such as Frank. Limitations of this book include the fact that it is very limited in scope in examining only one case study. There exist an incredible number of ways in which an individual may meet the criteria for APD and the authors only discussed one seemingly stereotypical example. Another limitation is that it was published in 2006 and relies on diagnosis from the DSM-IV-TR, soon to be dated by the DSM 5.Originally posted on 10/5/2012 at
by B. Stare
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Professional Counseling Excellence through Leadership and Advocacy 0 E. Wahesh Professional Counseling Excellence through Leadership and AdvocacyBook Being Reviewed:Barrio Minton, C., Chang, C., Dixon, A., Myers, J., Sweeney, T. (2011). Professional counseling excellence through leadership and advocacy. New York, NY: Routledge.Reviewer:Edward WaheshCurricular Areas:Counselor Education, Professional IdentitySubject Headings:Social justiceReview:There are few resources available for professional counselors and counselor educators to access on leadership and advocacy within the counseling profession. Several sources, including the American Counseling Association (ACA), Chi Sigma Iota, and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP), have presented competencies and principles pertaining to leadership and advocacy, but each comes up short in describing how these concepts can be incorporated into the training and practice of professional counseling. Professional Counseling Excellence through Leadership and Advocacy (2011) edited by Chang, Barrio Minton, Dixon, Myers, and Sweeney, fills this gap by providing a clear vision for the training and practice of leadership and advocacy for the profession. Professional Counseling Excellence through Leadership and Advocacy is organized into four sections that present the foundations, roles, and future directions of leadership and advocacy in counseling. A central theme in the book is the importance of practicing leadership and advocacy in an intentional manner, by thoughtfully reflecting on relevant theory and context before engaging in action. This theme comes across in the structure and content areas of the book. Before proposing action steps, the historical and present context of leadership and advocacy within the professional are presented. Roles for counselor educators and counselors to engage in are examined within the framework of available guiding documents, research and relevant theory. The final section of the book concludes by providing concrete steps that can be taken to advance leadership and advocacy within all facets of the profession. Endorsed by Chi Sigma Iota, the vision and framework outlined in this text make it an excellent addition to any counselor or counselor educator’s bookshelf. However, the engaging nature of the book makes it unlikely that it will spend much time on the shelf. Counselor educators will benefit from the insights given on how leadership and advocacy preparation can be infused across the curriculum and enriched by faculty mentoring. Professional counselors will increase their awareness of how critical these concepts are to their everyday practice. They will learn how to become effective advocates and leaders for their clients, supervisees, and communities. This text can be assigned reading for doctoral students, as it provides an insightful look at how the diverse roles of the counselor educator (i.e., supervisor, researcher, and counselor) all are related to leadership and advocacy. Counselor trainees will greatly profit from the exploration of the history and current context of the profession, which underline how leadership and advocacy are essential and interconnected roles for counselors. More importantly, beginning counselors will be exposed to a model of leadership and advocacy designed specifically for them in mind. Finally, the exercises and reflection questions at the conclusion of each chapter make this text a no brainer for Chi Sigma Iota members to use during chapter leadership trainings, professional development workshops, or as part of general membership meetings. CSI members can utilize the competencies described in the book as a foundation to establish their own professional leadership and advocacy goals.Originally posted on 2/6/2012 at
by E. Wahesh
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder 0 K. Fallon Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality DisorderBook Being Reviewed:Linehan, M. M. (1993). Skills training manual for treating borderline personality disorder. New York, NY: Guilford. Reviewer:Kathleen FallonCurricular Areas:Helping Relationships/Counseling Theory Subject Headings:Personality disorders Review:In the Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder, Marsha Linehan provides the reader with a comprehensive guide for navigating Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills groups. This workbook outlines a myriad of proven techniques to minimize the emotional disregulation characteristic of individuals who suffer from symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. This manual highlights four main areas: core mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance. Linehan divides each psychosocial skill into useful steps for skill development. Worksheets provided within each skill group enhance the ability of the individual to master each skill. Practitioners and consumers of this therapeutic approach are given the opportunity to enhance their understanding of these techniques outside of the group by utilizing each technique in a natural setting. Clients can utilize the skills presented in this manual long after their Dialectical Behavior Therapy skills groups have commenced and do not require the facilitation of a practitioner. Linehan’s work is set apart from similar publications because she is the seminal force behind Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Although more recent works regarding Dialectical Behavior Therapy have been published, all of them draw from the empirically proven techniques developed by Linehan. I found the skills in this manual to be applicable to individuals experiencing symptoms other than those characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder. Symptoms such as impulsivity and difficulty controlling anger can be minimized by the skills outlined in this workbook. These symptoms are not uncommon in counseling settings that serve adolescents. These skills also target and reduce the self-destructive behaviors that are often seen in school counseling settings, and thus can effectively be utilized by adolescents in addition to adults. Linehan discusses skills such as completing a chain analysis of behavior when having difficulty identifying problem behaviors, as well as engaging in mindfulness exercises when emotions become difficult to regulate. I anticipate that the skills outlined in this manual will become invaluable resources to me in my career, and I recommend this book to anyone entering the field of counseling.Originally posted on 2/11/2011 at
by K. Fallon
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Defiant Children 0 N. Stargell Defiant Children: A Clinician's Manual for Assessment and Parent TrainingBook Being Reviewed:Barkley, R. A. (1997). Defiant children: A clinician's manual for assessment and parent training (2nd Ed.). New York, NY: Guilford. Reviewer:Nicole Adamson Curricular Areas:Helping Relationships/Counseling Theory, Marital/Couple/Family Counseling Subject Headings:Family dynamics Review:The Barkley Parent Management Training Program is a valuable tool for understanding and correcting unhelpful behavior in young clients and their families. This book is based upon behavioral theory and focuses on increasing positive praise and reinforcement while reducing the use of punishment for children who display disruptive behavior. The program pays special attention to family dynamics, parent characteristics, and child personality traits. The participation of all family members in therapy is required and the program emphasizes the necessity of parent and child investment. The text describes a plan of action that is ideal for helping disruptive children and their parents regain behavioral control; specific pieces of the program can be used at the clinician’s discretion according to the severity of the clients’ needs. The detail of the text carefully guides the clinician through addressing and treating disruptive behavior, but the identified client and his or her family is ultimately responsible for the success of treatment. Once a clinician has a firm understanding of Barkley’s program, he or she will be able to adapt the text to fit the individual needs of a wide range of clientele.The author noted that this program works best with young children, but can be used with families who have children as old as twelve years. The first chapter delivers empirical support for the behavior-based program and background information to increase the counselor’s understanding of the theory. This section is especially important for a clinician because it presents a foundation for the remainder of the book and provides a rationale for the specific interventions recommended by the author. The second section of the book represents the practical application of Barkley’s theory. Based upon his understanding of family dynamics and individual characteristics, the author has outlined a 10-step procedure that can be divided into as many family sessions as necessary or incorporated into a parenting-skills group. Before implementing the program as it is outlined in the text, a clinician will need to use the assessment tools found in part three of the book. These tools allow the clinician, client, and family to gain a clear understanding of the origin of the child’s difficult behaviors. The clinician can then determine how the ten-step program will be used to re-formulate the family’s interactions. Before the assessments are administered and while they are being interpreted, the clinician will be able to call upon the information provided in section one in order to keep the family invested in the goals of treatment. The final section of the book includes all parent handouts that will be needed throughout the ten-step program. Overall, this text is skillfully written, easy to read, and extremely interesting. It can be used by clinicians as a reference material or as a practical therapeutic guide for treatment.Originally posted on 8/19/2010 at
by N. Stargell
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Grief: Normal, Complicated, Traumatic 0 J. Ramsey Grief: Normal, Complicated, Traumatic Book Being Reviewed:Schupp, L. J. (2003). Grief: Normal, complicated, traumatic. Eau Claire, WI: PESI Healthcare.Reviewer:Jacalyn RamseyCurricular Areas:Self-HelpSubject Headings:Grief & LossReview:This book is very helpful for those in the healthcare field who counsel clients concerning the issue of grief. The author cites her personal experience which enhances this well-written account of the grieving process. Chapters in the book deal with definition, assessment and types of grief; the therapeutic relationship; and psychological and emotional healing techniques, as well as techniques for special populations (i.e., bereaved parents, survivor children, terminally ill, elderly, and cultural groups). She also includes suicide survivors, which is a unique type of suffering. The author identifies three classifications of grief as normal, complicated (prolonged, absent, distorted, delayed, excessive, unresolved or layered, concomitant, and trauma-related), and traumatic/prolonged. There is significant discussion regarding the possibility of a new name for Traumatic Grief, "Prolonged Grief Disorder", which may possibly be added to the proposed DSM-V. The word traumatic is used in clarifying the impact of death upon the survivor, instead of mainly just a horrific death of the victim, thus emphasizing the phenomenology rather than etiology. The author describes this disorder as intense, prolonged, and incapacitating; however, in the past grief was not considered a mental disorder. Therefore, it is significant if the proposed criteria for Prolonged Grief Disorder becomes a part of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders because it will give clinicians another choice in labeling various grief problems. In my own practice, I have counseled clients who fall into the category of Prolonged Grief Disorder. Some of the author’s recommended psychological and therapeutic techniques which I have found to be helpful in facilitating emotional expression include journal writing, poem therapy, letters, gestalt therapy, art and music therapy, animal therapy, and memorials (rituals honoring the deceased, i.e., releasing balloons into the sky or creating a memory book). I have found logotherapy to be particularly beneficial with clients who have traumatic/prolonged grief. This type of therapy helps the client to find meaning in their suffering. In her search for meaning, my client wrote a poem about the deceased and shared it with other parents who were grieving the loss of a child. An additional last entry in this book addresses Health Care Professionals and self-care, which is often absent from the college training curriculum. This book would be a valuable resource to place upon your bookshelf in helping others with their grief.Originally posted on 5/31/2010 at
by J. Ramsey
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The Essential Family Guide to Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder 0 K. Webbeking The Essential Family Guide to Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on EggshellsBook Being Reviewed:Kreger, R. (2008). The essential family guide to understanding borderline personality disorder: New tools and techniques to stop walking on eggshells. Center City, MN: Hazelden Press.Reviewer:Katrina WebbekingCurricular Areas:Helping Relationships/Counseling TheorySubject Headings:Personality disordersReview:Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is an increasing concern that has generated a considerable amount of interest in respect to present research. As borderline personality disorder becomes more frequently diagnosed, it is imperative to advocate further exploration of the disorder by identifying and evaluating effective intervention strategies which address specific concerns associated with borderline personality.Typically, research tends to address the person diagnosed with BPD as opposed to the influence of borderline behaviors on other significant persons involved with an individual meeting the criteria for BPD. In contrast, The Essential Family Guide to Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells by Randi Kreger, illustrates with a sense of compassion, humor, and humanity, the plights and perils of persons who by choice or sheer coincidence have a person in their life who meets the BPD criteria.In terms of applicability to the counseling profession, perhaps one of the primary strengths of this reader- friendly text, is the way the author exerts a reasonable degree of care not to stigmatize the persons with BPD or the persons who choose to support them along their journey through the therapeutic process should the individual diagnosed as borderline indeed pursue and commit to recovery. Another practical consideration for counselors is the emphasis on the author’s advocacy of cognitive behaviorally-based interventions which are presented in a specific format designed for practical applications in working with clients. Counseling persons with BPD and associated support persons can present laudable challenges. The Essential Family Guide to Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder, encourages the counselor to maintain their own well-being as they embark upon the counseling process. Throughout the book, support strategies such as : applying intentional communication, self-monitoring, and self-care are identified which are intended not only to address the needs of the client, but the needs of those who interact or work with clients with a borderline diagnosis. Kreger specifically discusses five primary therapeutic tools for effectively managing borderline interactions including: a focus on self-care (knowing your limits and setting boundaries), recognizing and identifying what allows the non borderline to feel "stuck” (what patterns are inhibiting progress and what can be gained from this insight), communicating personal needs and wants(using "I” statements and limiting praise), establishing boundaries in a respectful/loving context (boundaries should be clear and concise, and conveyed respectfully), and reinforcing appropriate behaviors(modeling desired behaviors and providing specific compliments-know what you are reinforcing). According to Kreger, utilizing each of the five techniques has proven most useful in managing BPD interactions in contrast to employing the "cafeteria method,” which constitutes applying only what you like and leaving the rest of the information undigested.Originally posted on 3/29/2010 at
by K. Webbeking
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Counseling Latinos and La Familia 0 K. Carmichael Counseling Latinos and La Familia: A Practical GuideBook Being Reviewed:Santiago-Rivera, A., Arrendondo, P. and Gallardo-Cooper, M. (2002). Counseling Latinos and la familia: A practical guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Reviewer:Karla Carmichael Curricular Areas:Diversity/Multiculturalism/Social Justice Subject Headings:Multicultural/cross-cultural issues Review:As Latinos become one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States, the shift in demographics impacts the counselor’s need to understand this population. Part I of the text provides the reader with the critical information that forms the foundation of the Hispanic and Latino culture. The authors begin with explaining the development of the Multicultural Counseling Competencies and how this framework determines the scope and sequence of knowledge basic to understanding the cultural implications for counselors. Of special note is the discussion of the general Dimensions of Personality Identity with specific emphasis on how this is applied to the Latino cultural identity. Essential to the understanding of any cultural framework is its historical, sociopolitical, and geographical influences. Highlighted are those common framework elements that are shared by most Latino cultures, as well as, those elements of diversity determined by their unique cultural experiences. A discussion of the cultural impact of identity, adaptation and change, family values, religion, health, language and gender roles are presented. Intact, bicultural/biracial, single parent, and immigrant families are given an adequate review of culturally unique issues. In Part II, the book provides an overview of issues and interventions commonly experienced in counseling sessions. Language switching, narratives and metaphors are encouraged to enhance a positive counselor-client relationship. Specific models of family therapy, clinical practice, and assessment are discussed, followed by a final chapter devoted to training, supervision, and cultural competencies. The text is unique in that each chapter presents the objectives, general cultural competencies and Latino specific competencies addressed within the chapter. The competencies are followed by a self-awareness pretest. Each competency is discussed. In addition, the text provides case studies to illustrate the interventions and techniques that are recommended as models for the counselor. The chapters conclude with the answers to the self-awareness pretest. The appendices are an outstanding element to this text. The selected measures of acculturation are provided. The glossary of culture specific terms include people and places, values, historical events, family traditions and musical expressions that the counselor is most likely to encounter in counseling sessions. Finally, a culture-centered clinical interview is provided to help guide the counselor in the type of information that may be most helpful for treatment planning and interventions. The text provides an excellent synopsis of the Latino culture. The interventions are clearly described for the novice or experienced counselor in practice. The book is well organized. The self-awareness tests are insightful for the beginning counselor. The text would be an excellent supplemental text to focus on counseling Latinos.Originally posted on 3/29/2010 at
by K. Carmichael
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences 0 J. Crockett  The Handbook of Near-Death Experiences: Thirty Years of InvestigationBook Being Reviewed:Holden, J. M., Greyson, B., & James, D. (2009). The handbook of near-death experiences: Thirty years of investigation. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. Reviewer:Jamie Crockett Curricular Areas:Diversity/Multiculturalism/Social Justice, Human Development, Research and/or Program Evaluation Subject Headings:Grief & loss, Multicultural/cross-cultural issues, Spiritual journey Review:Despite the many unknowns that come with experiencing life on earth, one thing that we know with certainty is that all people die. The question remains what, if anything, happens to us after death? Research in this field is inevitably difficult as there is no known method for empirical study of the experience of dying. Remarkably, advances in resuscitation technology beginning in the 1970’s have afforded an unprecedented volume of the closest known accounts of death. These near-death experiences (NDEs) give insight into varying degrees of death from those who have experienced it and lived to tell their story. The handbook of near-death experiences is a comprehensive literary review of 30 years of investigation of NDEs. With contributions from leading experts, the handbook offers an up-to-date summary of NDE research, controversial issues, recommendations and considerations for future research, as well as implications for medical and mental health providers. The handbook advocates for quality research using the scientific method and names two primary reasons for continued NDE research. First, further understanding is necessary in order to do no harm to NDErs, and second, medical and mental health providers as well as all of humanity may benefit greatly from further research (p. xiv). The handbook presents research through eleven distinct "lenses” (chapters), each of which stands on its own as a summary of that particular area of study. These areas include: distressing NDE’s, NDE’s in children and teens, explanatory models of NDE’s, and world religions and NDE’s. Each chapter raises important questions for the application and implications of future research such as: Can consciousness function apart from the living body? What are the implications of cultural and/or religious influence on NDE’s? What are the "limitations of the current model of mind-brain identity” (p. 214)? What are the therapeutic effects of NDE’s on NDErs and non-NDErs? Understanding NDE’s may help counselors working with client’s who are NDErs, non-NDErs, terminally ill, bereaved, soldiers, elderly, or experiencing suicidal ideation. Further, it is relevant for counselors to note that many populations benefit from learning about NDE’s. For instance, in one study, students who took coursework on NDE’s reported overall increase in positive view of death, self-worth, compassion, and purposefulness of life. Perhaps NDE research could be helpful material for some effective psycho-education opportunities. Unfortunately, some NDErs experience problems with poor after-care, assumption of pathology by care-givers, and misdiagnosis. This compounds the already existing reluctance to disclose NDE’s. For some clients, counselor competency relies on a foundational understanding of NDE’s. Thus, the handbook of near-death experiences includes helpful guidelines and suggestions (not yet empirically researched) for working with NDErs. The Handbook provides a valuable summary contribution to our current understanding and important directives for how best to advance that understanding in a way that contributes to counseling both individuals with NDEs and others who can benefit from an greater understanding of death experiences.Originally posted on 3/29/2010 at
by J. Crockett
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Counseling Strategies That Work! 0 J. Buser Counseling Strategies That Work! Evidence-based Interventions for School CounselorsBook Being Reviewed:Parsons, R. D. (2007). Counseling strategies that work! Evidence-based interventions for school counselors. New York: Pearson. Reviewer:Juleen Buser Curricular Areas:Counselor Education, School Based License Subject Headings:Anxiety disorders, Depression, Eating disorders, Elementary school, High school, Middle school Review:Built on the premise that interventions grounded in research have an integral place in the work of the school counseling profession, Parsons has created a concise, informative, and compelling text. Ultimately, this is a book accessible to and relevant for school counselors, counselor educators, and counseling students. This text enables the reader to initially understand the extent of a particular problem among children and adolescents. Parsons begins his text with a convincing array of statistics which quickly establish the scope of the mental health struggle among children and adolescents. In addition, the book is divided into chapters which each highlight a specific mental health concern (e.g., conduct disorder). Prefacing each chapter is a section which reviews the research on the parameters of this particular problem among children and adolescents. There are twenty mental health concerns addressed in this text. The individual chapters then proceed from a summary of the issue to a review of evidence-based interventions to address the issue. Parsons is careful to point out that the extent of the research support among the interventions varies; some studies have notable research deficits (e.g., small samples) while others use rigorous experimental designs. However, Parsons allows the reader to make an informed decision as to the validity of each intervention. Each intervention is reported within the context of the research study which found it to be successful. Thus, embedded with a description of the intervention and its outcome, the reader also obtains information on the research design. The evidence-based interventions are specific to the school counseling context. For example, Parsons gives a description of an eating disorder prevention program which received compelling empirical support in a controlled experimental study. This innovative program was created by Phelps, Sapia, Nathanson, and Nelson (2000) and consisted of six sessions which addressed issues such as self-esteem and social pressure to be thin. Following the evidence-based treatment summaries, Parson shifts to techniques learned from the field. While claiming no research support for these suggestions, Parsons compiled an array of strategies that school counseling practitioners reported using with success. For example, in addressing eating disorders, this section offers the insights that medical evaluation is often needed and assertiveness training can be beneficial. Moreover, this section provides tips for working with teachers in the school around a particular mental health struggle, such as providing teacher training on the early warning signs of an eating disorder. This text would be useful for practitioners, faculty, and students in the school counseling field. Specifically, this text has applicability to school counseling courses, as it manages to blend a focus on the practice of school counseling with research on school counseling. Students can learn techniques for practical application in their practicum or internship sites, in addition to discussing and analyzing the research evidence behind these interventions. Such a text would be an excellent model for emerging school counselors, as it seeks to attend to both the practice and the research of the profession.Originally posted on 2/2/2010 at
by J. Buser
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The Helping Interview 0 R. Byrd The Helping InterviewBook Being Reviewed:Benjamin, A. (1981). The helping interview. Houghton Mifflin Company, USA. Reviewer:Rebekah Byrd Curricular Areas:Memoir/Biography Subject Headings:Introduction to Interviewing, Counseling and Clinical Issues, Aspects of the Helping Relationship, Personal Stories and Reflections as a Counselor Review:Alfred Benjamin writes in a reflective, easy to read, personal manner as he presents a wealth of information related to counseling and the helping relationship. Topics range from conditions of the counseling room to discussions of ethics. He draws from years of experience and shares many stories to relay his message and lessons learned all the while asking you, the reader, to consider your own thoughts and ideas. Even though there are many beliefs in the book that I do not share, I greatly appreciate Benjamin’s presentation of information and the ability to think it over for myself. The Helping Interview is also a resource for rich discussions on many topics. This text also includes questions, activities, and a supplementary reading list. I read this book in one of my very first counseling classes. I truly enjoyed the personal reflection and the many class discussions that resulted from having read this book. The manner in which topics are presented in The Helping Interview in addition to how Benjamin discussed his thoughts, asked me to thoroughly examine mine own. Years later, The Helping Interview is still accomplishing this task. I turn to this book not only for self-knowledge and gentle reminders, but to strengthen my clinical skills as well. It has also been useful in supervision. The Helping Interview is a great tool to use in beginning counseling courses and as a supplemental text to practicum and internship as it presents scenarios useful for teaching and learning.Originally posted on 2/2/2010 at
by R. Byrd
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Thinking, Feeling, Behaving: An Emotional Education Curriculum for Children 1 J. Warren I'm a school counselor and I have been looking for resources to help with various behavioral issues. This appears to be what I've been looking for. I will be purchasing it!Thanks for sharing.Angela Powell
by A. Powell
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
School Counseling to Close the Achievement Gap 0 H. Runyan School Counseling to Close the Achievement Gap: A Social Justice Framework for SuccessBook Being Reviewed:Holcomb-McCoy, C. (2007). School counseling to close the achievement gap: A social justice framework for success. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Reviewer:Helen RunyanCurricular Areas:Diversity/Multiculturalism/Social Justice, School Based LicenseSubject Headings:Elementary school, High school, Middle school, Multicultural/cross-cultural issues, Racial/ethnic identity, Social justiceReview:School Counseling to Close the Achievement Gap is a powerful book that is likely to change the worldview of each and every reader. From the Preface to the Resources, the author challenges the readers to truly deepen their awareness about the achievement gap, social justice, and the part that school counselors (and other educators) may unwittingly play in maintaining the status quo. This knowledge and consciousness is then used to propel the reader into action, working to increase social justice at every given opportunity. While there is a lot of material written about how atrocious the achievement gap is and what teachers can do to close the gap, school counselors have often been left to figure out their part in the solution. This book effectively communicates and explicates what the author refers to as "the six C’s” (p. 22) that are key to increasing a social justice focus in a school counseling program. These chief functions are "counseling and intervention planning; consultation; connecting schools, families, and communities; collecting and utilizing data; challenging bias; and coordinating student services and support” (p. 22). Besides filling the gap in the literature concerning the part school counselors play in closing the achievement gap, this book offers powerful data likely to spur (or maybe even shock) counselors into action. School Counseling to Close the Achievement Gap poses questions for counselors to apply to their current school situations. It presents counseling snapshots (scenarios to spur further thought about possible situations). The author also proposes actions counselors can take immediately to begin increasing social justice within their schools. Although School Counseling to Close the Achievement Gap was apparently written for school counselors, it can be used by a broad spectrum of counselors to increase self knowledge. While many of the excerpts are particular to school settings, the underlying themes of social justice, multicultural competence, and systemic change are critical to skilled counselors. In fact, teachers may well benefit from this same basic subject matter. Despite the many strengths of this book, one caveat must be mentioned. In the author’s words, "once counselors understand equity and social justice, they will begin to see inequities everywhere and across many diverse groups” (p. ix). Also, "once you are aware of injustice and inequities, it can be burdensome and tiring” (p. 120). In other words, once enlightened by this book, your worldview will change and you will be hard-pressed to close your eyes or mind to the numerous wrongs perpetuated even in today’s "enlightened” world. Originally posted on 8/26/2008 at
by H. Runyan
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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