Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies in Crisis Intervention

By Unger, Donald G. | Family Relations, January 1996 | Go to article overview

Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies in Crisis Intervention


Unger, Donald G., Family Relations


Dattilio, Frank M., and Freeman, Arthur. (Eds.). (1994). Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies in Crisis Intervention. New York: Guilford. 412 pp. Hardcover ISBN 0-89862-221-2, price $37.95.

This edited volume provides outpatient therapists with a reference book for conceptualizing and handling a wide variety of crisis situations that their clients may be experiencing. The exclusive emphasis is on applying cognitivebehavioral approaches to crisis management. Separate chapters focus on patients who present with distinct clinical problems such as borderline personality disorders, panic disorders, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, child abuse, and illness. Although most of the problems are discussed as individual issues, some authors address crises for couples and families, as well as community crises such as natural disasters. In addition, one chapter discusses group approaches to crisis intervention. Ethical and legal issues for the clinician handling crisis cases, as well as issues of medication management, are covered in this volume.

Each chapter can stand on its own as a reference source. Chapters are separate articles, as in a special issue of a journal. This format is both a major strength and weakness of this book. Each chapter is expertly written and presents a conceptualization of a specific problem, treatment approaches, and case studies to illustrate the main points discussed by the author(s). However, given that all chapters focus on cognitive-behavioral therapy, there is a great deal of overlap between chapters and, consequently, the same information is included in multiple chapters. Most chapters recommend (a) collaborating with the patient; (b) assessing the patient's automatic thoughts, cognitive distortions, assumptions, and schemata; (c) providing patient education; and (d) using cognitive restructuring, exposure, anxiety reduction, and controlled breathing; and (e) teaching additional coping strategies. …

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