Academic journal article Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Professional Books -- Residential Treatment: A Cooperative Competency-Based Approach to Therapy and Program Design by M. Durrant

Academic journal article Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Professional Books -- Residential Treatment: A Cooperative Competency-Based Approach to Therapy and Program Design by M. Durrant

Article excerpt

Durrant, M. (1993). Residential treatment: A cooperative competency-based approach to therapy and program design. New York: W. W. Norton, 203 pp., $27.95.

This book offers a paradigm shift. Durrant replaces the view of residential treatment as a last resort with that of residential treatment as a time of transition and competency building in children and families. Durrant has been successful in "elaborating a way of thinking about and doing residential treatment" (p. xi) that focuses on creating a context in which children and families experience the placement as a transition time when new skills will be practiced.

Though not a cookbook or model for how to do or redesign residential treatment, Durrant's book does address the key stages and elements of residential treatment. He uses case examples to illustrate how solution-oriented and competency-focused themes may be applied to all aspects of residential treatment (i.e., placement decisions, daily interventions, discipline). The examples and discussions force the reader to rethink how all contact with families at the time of placement and all aspects of the program continually send a message to the family. The underscored theme is that all contact needs to increase perceptions of personal competence rather than reinforce past notions of failure or need for external control. …

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