Top critical review
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Good for the basics, less so the beyond
on 31 December 2012
The second edition of Judith Beck's book has much to offer anyone who is interested in CBT or who is comtemplating, engaging in or has just completed training as a CB therapist. There are chapters on all the concepts an introductory text should be covering, mostly written in a clear, uncomplicated style and updated from the 1995 original. It is most definitely a useful companion to a good CBT training course.
I found some features disappointing, hence only a 3.5 star rating in my view. The coverage of the evidence base for CBT is rather brief and might lead the reader to suppose that CBT is equally effective right across the board. I realise that an introductory text is not the place for an extensive discussion of research, but a better job could have - and has been- done in similar books such as Westbrook and colleagues in their An Introduction to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy who differentiate betwen areas of clear and limited evidences of efficacy. I was also disappointed by the chapter on progressing as a therapist, which says little more than practce the techniques on yourself . At times the language becomes mangled; for instance there must be a more elegant way of referring to problems in therapy than "stuck points".
These criticisms notwithstanding there is plenty here to stimulate the aspiring therapist, though I suggest looking elsewhere for the "beyond" part of the subtitle.