Conduct Disorders: A Practitioner's Guide to Comparative Treatments

Conduct Disorders: A Practitioner's Guide to Comparative Treatments

Conduct Disorders: A Practitioner's Guide to Comparative Treatments

Conduct Disorders: A Practitioner's Guide to Comparative Treatments


Take a journey through one of the most costly psychiatric disorders: Conduct Disorder.

Explore why children in the same environment as a child with conduct disorder are more affected than the child diagnosed with the problem. Delve into the reasons most practicing clinicians of conduct disorder are influenced more so by the persons they treat and their desire to refine theoretical understanding of others and improve their methods of helping than by empirical research.

With the increasing need to effectively address conduct-disordered youth, this book offers a comparative analysis of eight distinctive theoretical and practical interventions by expert therapists of one case study of conduct-disordered youth. Coverage of each treatment includes:

  • Overview of the model
  • Establishment of treatment goals
  • Discussion of assessment procedures
  • Specific clinical interventions
  • In addition, a comparison grid offers a summation and comparison of the eight treatment models for use in developing and enhancing patient-tailored treatment approaches.


Psychotherapy has progressed considerably since its humble beginnings at the turn of the 20th century. New developments continue, as do the many controversies, especially among clinicians of differing theoretical persuasions. In the meantime, psychotherapy research has become a vital and evolving enterprise, which at times supplements and at other times confronts the theory-based activities of therapists. Treatment research strives to provide a foundation for the practice of psychotherapy, as practitioners of psychotherapy become more numerous and diverse. In 1982, Garfield identified 60 forms of psychotherapy used in the 1960s, whereas Kazdin noted 400 variants of psychotherapy by the mid-1980s, and over 550 by the end of the 1990s. The emergence of different forms of psychotherapy has occurred independently of empirical evidence. Most practicing clinicians are influenced by the agencies in which they deliver services, by the persons they treat, and by their desire to refine their theoretical understanding of others and improve their methods of helping, rather than by empirical research. Simultaneously, major changes in medical and mental health care reimbursement systems within the United States and structure imposed by managed care organizations also have a pervasive impact on both the delivery of psychotherapy and psychotherapy research. These two enterprises—delivery of psychotherapeutic services and the evaluation of such approaches—have both collided with and complemented each other.

Within this context, the common thread that drives clinicians and researchers alike is the quest to find “which treatments are most helpful for patients.” Basically, it is the clinician’s theoretical orientation that guides his or her clinical interventions with clients. The focus of this book is to have practicing clinicians from different theoretical orientations discuss what they feel works best with children and adolescents who present with conductdisordered problems.

The first chapter provides an overview of conduct disorder, including the characteristics, incidence and prevalence rates, and etiologic factors. Chapter 2 introduces the case of Michael, a composite portrait of a 13-year-old boy whose character development and life story were developed by drawing . . .

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