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At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails 0 N. Elston At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails Book being reviewed: Bakewell, S. (2016). At the existentialist café: freedom, being, and apricot cocktails. New York, NY: Other Press. Reviewer: Nikki Elston Curricular Areas: Counselor Education, Professional Identity Subject Headings: Heath/wellness, Relationships, Social justice, War Review: Author Sarah Blakewell walked readers through the beginning of existentialism, revealing its origins and history. The book read like a work of fiction, but is rich with facts and information about the rise of existentialism from the world of phenomenology. The first few chapters introduced Heidegger, Husserl, Camus, Sartre, Beauvoir, and a host of other “main thinkers” that contributed to existentialism. Sartre and Heidegger’s biographies are highlighted and prominent throughout, intersecting with many of the other existential philosophers. Blakewell helped readers to understand how friendships, rivalries, war, love affairs, mentorship, and disagreement shaped a movement and the existential theory. Existentialism is traced back through the Second World War and postwar liberation. Readers will get a glimpse into Heidegger and his Nazi sympathizing and learn how the relationship between Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were instrumental in their work and writing and how a philosophy became a movement. Much of the text was devoted to personal biography of the various cast of characters, helping the reader to gain insight into how the individual philosophers and thinkers came to their own conclusions about “What are we?” and “What should we do?” Blakewell pointed out that she is not trying to answer the question, “What is existentialism?” but instead attempted to define what existentialists do. Novice or seasoned counselors looking for an in depth account of existentialism’s history should find this book extremely informative and helpful. Counselors-in-training who are exploring theories and looking for more information as they choose a theory to work from can use this book to better understand the foundation of the philosophy and how it has morphed and changed with each philosopher. Even if you are not an existentialist, this book may be a great supplemental reading assignment for a counseling theories class. Textbooks only have so much room for the history of each theory and often leave out the contributions of the people mentioned in this book. This book has applicability to counselor educators, counselors, and counselor-trainees looking to increase their knowledge on existentialism, whether it be utilized for practice, application, or teaching.
by N. Elston
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Partners in Play: An Adlerian Approach to Play Therapy (3rd ed.) 0 S. Teeling Partners in Play: An Adlerian Approach to Play Therapy (3rd ed.) Book being reviewed: Kottman, T., & Meany-Walen, K. (2016). Partners in play: An Adlerian approach to play therapy (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association. Reviewer: Sunny Teeling Curricular Areas: Helping Relationships/Counseling Theory Subject Headings: Alternative therapies Review: Partners in Play: An Adlerian Approach to Play Therapy provided information regarding the Adlerian Play Therapy (AdPT) approach to working with clients. The book gives an easy to read and understand overview of the process of AdPT. The authors covered many important elements such as the rationale behind play therapy, using Adlerian theory concepts as a part of the treatment, working with important adults in a child's life and conducting research. Through this book readers will gain a better understanding of AdPT and what the therapeutic process looks like. This book is a wonderful resource for those interested in AdPT. Beyond the exploration of techniques and rationale, it contains many excellent tips that can be utilized with clients. Additionally the book also contains several appendices that practitioners can use when implementing AdPT in their own practices. AdPT contains many elements and this book provided an easy to read resources as to the way they all interplay within the therapeutic process. While AdPT training is recommended, the book provides an excellent opportunity to understand AdPT, its basis and techniques. Additionally the book provides many other resources at the end of each chapter readers can use to explore AdPT.
by S. Teeling
Thursday, June 1, 2017
When Men Batter Women 0 J. Kelly When Men Batter Women Book being reviewed: Jacobson N., & Gottman, J. (1998). When men batter women: New insights into ending abusive relationships. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. Reviewer: Joy Kelly Curricular Areas: Marital/Couple/Family Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling Subject Headings: Female lifespan development, Personality disorders, PTSD, Relationships, Sexual abuse, Trauma, Violence-assault, Violence-domestic Review: In Jacobson and Gottman’s When Men Batter Women, the authors provided a riveting account of their research regarding couples experiencing domestic violence. Through detailed descriptions of various victims and perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse, the authors offered a comprehensive explanation for understanding various forms of domestic violence, specifically as it relates to different types of batterers. More specifically, the authors presented a shocking finding from their research experiment in that they revealed two types of batterers distinguished by differences in heart rate during the violent altercation: the “Pit Bull” and the “Cobra.” The “Pit Bull” is characterized by a strong dependency and high emotional impulse reactivity on the intimate partner whose heart rate increases during a violent episode. In shocking contrast, the “Cobra” is distinguished by a decreased heart rate during the violent episode whose personality is typically described as more cold and calculating where violence is seemed as just a part of life. This book serves as a fundamental resource for counselors and clients in understanding intimate partner violence on a more comprehensive level, as the text provided a detailed understanding of the concept of domestic violence, followed by covering areas of relevant clinical interest to include: assessing for risk, resources for help, batterer rehabilitation and safety planning. The book is highly accessible, affordable, and easy to read and understand. It is important to note that most of the language on battering and intimate partner violence in this tome predominantly suggested the female as the victim in the relationship and the male as the perpetrator of the violence. The authors noted that not all perpetrators of battering are male but the research consistently has shown that in most cases of battering or intimate terrorism, the male is the perpetrator of the abuse. Additionally, it is important to note that from a couples counseling perspective, one should not conduct couples counseling with a couple who is actively in a violent relationship.
by J. Kelly
Thursday, June 1, 2017
The Self-Esteem Workbook 0 E. Palmieri The Self-Esteem Workbook Book being reviewed: Schiraldi, G.R. (2001). The Self-Esteem Workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications. Reviewer: Emily Teague Palmieri Curricular Areas: College Counseling/Student Affairs, Helping Relationships/Counseling Theory, Human Development, Marital/Couple/Family Counseling Subject Headings: Anxiety disorders, College, Depression, Heath/wellness, High school, Middle school, Relationships Review: The Self-Esteem Workbook was created as a companion guide to Self-Esteem, however, in the context of therapy, this workbook can be used alone. This first edition was published in 2001 and is a practical workbook to build psychological self-esteem for individuals struggling with self-acceptance, which may be contributing to psychological distress. Based in Person-Centered and Cognitive-Behavior Therapy theories, the short chapters of this self-help workbook helps readers understand the importance of self-esteem concepts and provided worksheets and activities that are user-friendly. While clients can complete these worksheets and tasks individually and it would be acceptable to recommend clients use this outside of therapy sessions, it is appropriate to use this as a complementary resource to individual or group therapy. Part one of the Self-Esteem Workbook focuses on understanding self-esteem as neither shameful or prideful, the etiology of self-esteem, and preparing the user physically and mentally, for the psychological work. Part two is broken up into three factors: 1) the reality of unconditional self-worth, addressing self-defeating thoughts, acknowledging the positive realities in addition to limiting thoughts, and core-affirming thoughts; 2) experiencing unconditional love through addressing self-love, acknowledging the positive qualities in self and others, and cultivating body appreciation through cognitive rehearsals, mindfulness and other activities; 3) the active side of love: growing addresses perfectionism, taking stock of one's own character and preparing for setbacks. There is an appendices section at the end that hints towards the topics that were included in the latest edition that has yet to be released of forgiving the self and looking to the past with love. Overall, the Self-Esteem Workbook themes are reflective of Roger's core conditions while the interventions and tasks are heavily Cognitive-Behavioral in therapeutic orientation. The workbook's short chapters follow an organizational framework of building concepts from more concrete and accessible to more abstract and challenging.  Within each chapter, a self-esteem concept is introduced, explained, placed into context with an example, and finished with an activity/ worksheet that typically allows for alternative options for individualization. The language of this workbook is appropriate for most middle and high schoolers, however the concepts are salient for college students and adults in general. The chapters are merely a few pages each, which tend to feel gratifying and rewarding to clients and makes for easy "homework" or to include in a counseling session. Concepts, such as listing self-likes, may be difficult to do if wrangled in the throes of depression.  Some clients may need more assistance through these tasks than others, as finding the positive in oneself may be difficult to do when struggling with depression or anxiety. One's culture may not reinforce notions of the self, so while the topic is grounded in the culturally inclusive lens of Rogers, some care needs to be considered when accounting for a culture that does not tend to focus on the individual. In addition, caution should be used to not assume literacy and comprehension of concepts.
by E. Palmieri
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
School Counselors as Educational Leaders 0 C. Jurekovic School Counselors as Educational Leaders Book being reviewed: DeVoss, J. A., & Andrews, M.F. (2006). School counselors as educational leaders. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company. Reviewer: Christina Jurekovic Curricular Areas: Counselor Education, School Based License, Supervision Subject Headings: Elementary school, High school, Middle school, Social justice Review: School Counselors as Educational Leaders is a foundational guidebook uniquely suited for training 21st century school counseling students to become leaders and advocates. The purpose of this book was to serve as a training tool for school counselor educators and supervisors. DeVoss and Andrews (2006) began by providing a historical perspective on educational reforms that led to the Transforming School Counseling Initiative and the Educational Trust’s new vision for school counseling (2009a). Each chapter in the book included a case discussion of obstacles commonly faced by school counselors and practical applications for providing leadership as defined by the ASCA National Model. Exercises throughout the text guide school counseling students, ideally enrolled in practicum or internship, through self-assessment and reflection on various topics within educational leadership. Relevant websites and discussion questions at the end of every chapter encouraged readers to explore other resources, as well as, review and reflect on the chapter content. Due to the elusive nature of school counseling leadership from the perspective of new school counselors, an important contribution of this book is the self-assessment and exploration exercises, which provided concrete ways for students to deepen their understanding of leadership in the school setting. For example, students are provided rating scales and inventories for assessing their assertiveness, leadership skills, and preparedness to serve as a leader. Students are also asked to explore theoretical foundations of leadership and practice integrating various leadership models with expected school counselor leadership behaviors. The authors encourage students to develop a leadership style that fits with their values, beliefs, and personal mission in life. A thorough exploration and assessment of students’ leadership skills, behaviors, and style culminates in an opportunity to create an individualized leadership improvement plan. At this point, mentorship is highlighted as a key ingredient for effective professional development as a leader. The authors also suggested that educational leadership include collaboration with various stakeholders and advocacy for students of color and low-income families. Practical strategies for collaborating with resistant coworkers and advocating for low-achieving students were provided near the end of the book, along with recommendations for creating a data-driven school counseling program. Accountability was touted as an avenue for closing the achievement gap, giving credibility to the voice of school counselors in educational reform. The authors implore educational leaders, equipped with a strong theoretical foundation and practical strategies for implementing school counseling leadership and to courageously and diplomatically restructure their school counseling programs to serve the needs of all students. While the idea of leadership may be daunting to new school counselors, the authors provide an approachable, concrete guidebook for developing school counselors’ leadership skills and increasing their confidence as educational leaders. This book fills a gap in the literature on practical applications and training resources for school counseling leadership and would serve as an excellent guide for counselor educators seeking to formally train school counseling students to become educational leaders who advocate for the needs of all students.
by C. Jurekovic
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
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
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