Counseling Theories for Alcohol and Drug Education

By Cottone, R. R. | Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education, December 2017 | Go to article overview

Counseling Theories for Alcohol and Drug Education


Cottone, R. R., Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education


An important function of alcohol and drug education involves counseling people suffering from these addictions. Several books on the theories of counseling and psychotherapy are currently available e.g. Corey, 2017; Jones-Smith, 2014; Seligman & Reichenberg, 2014; Sharf, 2016 and others. Yet it seems that Springer Publishing Company wanted to enter this market ana thus published this book. Dr. Cottone, the author of this book, is a professor of counseling in the Department of Education Sciences and Professional Programs at the University of Missouri--St. Louis. The book provides an overview of salient paradigms of counseling and psychotherapy currently being used. The book covers four paradigms, namely organic-medical and psychological, systemic-relational, social constructivism and cross-paradigm approaches.

The book is divided into six parts with 17 chapters. The first part provides an introduction of theories and paradigms in counseling and psychotherapy which covers definitions of important terms, mechanisms by which "talk therapy" works, differentiates between mental health and mental disorders and discusses the role of theory in the treatment of mental health problems.

The second part focuses on organic-medical and psychological paradigm approaches that espouse the biological basis of mental illness. Discussed approaches include Freudian psychoanalysis, Adlerian individual psychological approach, Rogerian client-centered therapy, Ellis' rational emotive therapy (RET) of refuting irrational beliefs, Perls' Gestalt therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Inclusion of chapter objectives at the beginning of each chapter and a boxed item of student-mentor dialogue on the approach at the end of the chapters are useful pedagogical features that students will immensely appreciate. Chapter summaries, review questions and websites to explore would have been even better additions.

The third part focuses on systemic-relational paradigm that is based on relationship-focused approaches. The first approach discussed is Virginia Satir's conjoint family therapy and includes her bio-sketch, description of foundational theory and general procedures of assessment, case management and specialized techniques. The student-mentor dialogue is a consistent feature in each approach in this book. The other approaches in this section include Haley's strategic problem-solving therapy and Minuchin's structural family therapy. The treatment given to each theory is consistent across each theory and flows very well.

The fourth part is about social constructionist approaches which are based on an intellectual movement in humanities that believe in the understanding of relationships as being paramount in interpreting reality. …

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