Schizophrenia: Cognitive Theory, Research, and Therapy

Article excerpt

Schizophrenia: Cognitive Theory, Research, and Therapy Aaron T Beck, Neil A Rector, Neal Stolar, Paul Grant. New York (NY): The Guilford Press; 2008. 418 p. US$45.00

Reviewer rating: Excellent

Schizophrenia

This book is a very interesting and stimulating volume opening new avenues for the understanding of the phenomenology, thinking processes, and formulation of schizophrenia.

Indeed, it brings together recent findings from the field of neurosciences, cognitive sciences, and neurobiology to help us achieve a broader and holistic approach to the treatment of schizophrenia. As the authors explain, the purpose of this book is for the reader to achieve an in-depth understanding and conceptual framework of the phenomenology of schizophrenia. These goals are very nicely achieved as the authors are skilful clinicians relying extensively on their clinical experience and research to support their treatment approaches.

The book is organized in 2 parts, both clearly written and easy to read. The first part, which includes Chapters 1 to 6, focuses on the conceptualization of the various symptoms of schizophrenia, such as delusions, hallucinations, negative symptoms, and thought disorder as seen in schizophrenia.

The second part focuses on the assessment and cognitive therapy of schizophrenia. Finally, there are several appendices that are helpful for any clinician interested in practicing cognitivebehavioural therapy (CBT) for schizophrenia.

By the end of Chapter 2 the authors' clearly state that cognitive therapists need to "apply the findings of neurobiology to the psychotherapeutic treatment of schizophrenia."p61 This statement clarifies the authors' conceptual approach to psychotherapy and future research in the psychotherapies of schizophrenia.

In the subsequent 5 chapters, a cognitive model to improve our understanding of the phenomenology of schizophrenia is outlined. These chapters are extremely well-written, providing excellent information for the understanding of the symptoms of schizophrenia. Indeed, these chapters, which explain the biases in information processing as seen in schizophrenia, allow clinicians to better understand and make sense of the symptoms and stories that are at times so difficult to understand in people diagnosed with schizophrenia. …