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Book Reviews   |    
Clinical Practice of Cognitive Therapy With Children and Adolescents: The Nuts and Bolts
Reviewed by Elizabeth E. Wagner, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 2004; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.55.6.725
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by Robert D. Friedberg and Jessica M. McClure; New York, Guilford Publications, 2002, $40

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Clinical Practice of Cognitive Therapy With Children and Adolescents: The Nuts and Bolts is an ambitious undertaking. It claims to be "a complete guide on how to do cognitive therapy with schoolchildren and adolescents." The book's authors, Robert D. Friedberg and Jessica M. McClure, both clinical psychologists, have indeed achieved this goal. The authors do an outstanding job of presenting the theoretical framework, processes, and content of conducting cognitive therapy with targeted populations of children and adolescents.

The value of this book is in its fusion of technically detailed cognitive therapy interventions and thoughtful insights about their application to targeted clinical populations of children and adolescents, with accompanying illustrative narratives, transcripts, creative role plays, and reproducible worksheets and forms. Although the text does not review supporting empirical evidence for the selected interventions nor discuss the use of cognitive therapy with disorders beyond those of childhood depression, anxiety, and disruptive behavior, these important tasks are beyond the authors' stated goals.

The book is divided into 14 chapters. In the first chapter the authors outline the similarities and differences between cognitive therapy with adults and cognitive therapy with children and adolescents. In the next two chapters, the authors present their approach to case conceptualization and treatment planning, incorporating the processes and procedures addressed in the remainder of the text. Chapter 3 explores the use of collaborative empiricism and guided discovery and examines how issues such as stage of therapy, nature of presenting problem, developmental capacity, motivation, and cultural factors influence their use. Chapter 4 discusses session structure as a general template that includes six central components: mood check-in, homework review, agenda setting, session content, homework assignment, and eliciting client feedback.

Chapter 5 discusses how to introduce the cognitive treatment model to—and identify problems with—children and adolescents. Chapters 8 and 9 outline cognitive and behavioral techniques that are commonly used with children and adolescents and then provide numerous creative applications of cognitive therapy, including play therapy applications and games and workbooks based on cognitive behavioral therapy. The remainder of the text details the application of cognitive therapy to children and adolescents with depression, anxiety, and disruptive behavior disorders. The final chapter discusses parenting skills and the role of the family in treatment.

Friedberg and McClure succeed in communicating complex concepts clearly and in an inviting style that will be useful to mental health practitioners across levels of experience. This is an invaluable resource for both graduate-level trainees and seasoned practitioners who are committed to the application of cognitive therapy to children and adolescents.

Dr. Wagner is assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and assistant director of the adolescent depression and suicide program at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.

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