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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent presentation of key criticisms!
As an integrative therapist currently studying for an MSc in CBT in the interests of my continuing professional development, I approached this particular training qualification with slight trepidation due to the obvious 'directive elements' of the theory, and how these may be in many ways diametrically opposed to my personal philosophy - that consequently informs my...
Published on 13 Jan. 2013 by Existentialist

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9 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars unbalanced
This book does not provide a balanced argument - the vast majority of the chapters are against CBT. Some of the chapters (e.g. Jane Milton & the apalling 'beck didn't live in Birmingham') are quite old and previously appeared in (admittedly obscure) journals. The book has the feel of a rushed job and an attempt to cash in the the current wave of interest in IAPT. Best...
Published on 23 Jan. 2009 by an NHS professional


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent presentation of key criticisms!, 13 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Against and for CBT: Towards a Constructive Dialogue? (Paperback)
As an integrative therapist currently studying for an MSc in CBT in the interests of my continuing professional development, I approached this particular training qualification with slight trepidation due to the obvious 'directive elements' of the theory, and how these may be in many ways diametrically opposed to my personal philosophy - that consequently informs my style of practice.

I purchased this particular book having read a 'critical review' of the text via an online journal, and in the hope that it would encompass some of the more pertinent criticisms of CBT within a book format, thus reducing the need to peruse online journals searching for the information needed to include in my own written assignments, inform my own critical writing on the subject,and enhance my learning.

Personally I have to say that I find the book fascinating, and an excellent source of the required information that more than meets my personal requirements.

I have to agree with other reviewers that the book does without a doubt lean more against than for current CBT theory and practice, in terms of the writings included in the text, although many of these writings are by no means a direct assault upon either the validity, and/or use of the theory 'per se', but rather a raft of potential limitations, and theoretical 'blind spots', that warrant both further research, and increased awareness of practitioners, organisations and services currently using CBT as a therapeutic intervention.

I do also feel it's worth mentioning here, that despite there being an apparent wealth of criticisms of CBT, it can often be difficult locating these, particularly with a general Google search, as most of the hits generated are pro-CBT - many of which are not validated sources and consequently useless for academic research and writing.

The book contains five clearly defined chapters incorporating political and cultural, clinical, research, paradigm perspectives as well as clinicians in the fields personal perspectives and responses to criticisms.

There's a broad range of views included, and I feel that whether it be for someone with either a personal and/or professional interest in current CBT research and theory, or someone like myself who needs access to such information to incorporate into their academic pursuits, the book is well worth a purchase.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent exploration and discussion of the key issues, 24 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Against and for CBT: Towards a Constructive Dialogue? (Paperback)
This could hardly be a more topical subject for psychotherapists, coming as it does as the psychotherapy profession in the UK faces up to state regulation and the impact of the UK Government's Improving Access To Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative, which is backing a massive increase in the number of trained therapists - in order to combat depression and its associated healthcare and economic costs. More precisely, influenced by the National Institute for Clinical Evidence (NICE - this subject area seems to be characterised by large numbers of Orwellian-sounding acronyms!) the Government is backing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) on the grounds that it is evidence based - it seems to work, in other words, and to be cost-effective.

All this has stirred up some fierce controversy. Are the claims made for the evidence base of CBT really as sound as they are claimed to be? Is CBT a form of behaviour correction and thought adjustment which pathologises, personalises - and thereby neutralises - discontent and suffering that has social, cultural, political and economic roots, rather than being located in some `deficiency' of the suffering individual diagnosed with `depression'? Or is CBT a pragmatic, genuinely collaborative, open and evolving set of ideas and methods which can really help people to deal with a range of debilitating psychic states - and do so within the confines of costs and resources available to the NHS? Are the critics of CBT attacking an authoritarian caricature of it - a version of the Enforcement Droid in 'Robocop', as Warren Mansell suggest in his (pro CBT) Chapter? Is there an element of envious attack by rival therapeutic modalities who fear being pushed out of the picture as the favoured son receives not only massive funding but the backing of apparent `scientific' authority and credibility?

This book presents both sides of the debate. There are thoughtful contributions from proponents of CBT and those more critical of it, although in terms of space the book gives more to those critical of CBT: there are three chapters written by CBT advocates and twenty by its opponents. The discussion is thorough and stimulating, and the issues are explored from paradigmatic, clinical, epistemological/research and political/cultural perspectives, with the chapters grouped under these headings.

The book will challenge and stimulate readers of any therapeutic persuasion -whether CBT, humanistic, psychoanalytic or other - to think deeply about their therapeutic philosophy - about why and how they work with their clients.

One intriguing possibility (an optimistic, but not inconceivable, one) that the book alerted me to is that of CBT as a `Trojan horse'. Speaking the language of science, one form of talking therapy has now received unprecedented backing from the public purse. Now inside the citadel of the NHS, CBT can and will evolve. For example, Jane Milton suggests in her Chapter (from a psychoanalytical perspective) that `CBT practitioners are beginning to rediscover the same phenomena that psychoanalysts earlier faced, and are having to change and deepen both their theory and practice accordingly'(p101). It is also possible that the agenda of consumer choice, as well as the weight of research evidence which suggests that the quality of the therapeutic relationship, rather than the modality of therapy, is the variable with the strongest influence on therapeutic outcome, will ensure that CBT does not gain a total stranglehold.

I would unhesitatingly recommend this book to anyone interested in these issues.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor Has No Clothes, 31 Oct. 2009
By 
Dr. Kevin F. Baker (Lewes East Sussex UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Against and for CBT: Towards a Constructive Dialogue? (Paperback)
What a breath of fresh air as the British public is being pushed unwittingly towards the state control of therapy services in the UK. This text makes a major contribution towards the critical debate that must be entered into before counselling and psychotherapy follow the well worn path of deprofessionalisation, and attendant demoralisation, that have accompanied prior political interference in such fields as medicine, nursing, social work and education.
CBT is of course a tool that can be used skilfully or otherwise. As one of many tools it has a place within the wide and rich field of therapy in the UK today. Yet the essentialisation that is occurring through political interference (via the so-called IAPT program) strips away the genuinely evidence based centrality of the living relationship between client and therapist that lies at the centre of all effective therapy.
This collection offers a wide range of perspectives on this critical issue. Each reader will end up making up their own minds. I am not at all surprised that the weight of argument favours a critical approach to the way CBT is currently being managed in the political market place.
My congratulations to all the authors and editors.
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4.0 out of 5 stars cbt, 14 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Against and for CBT: Towards a Constructive Dialogue? (Paperback)
A great introduction to cbt and a must for those on counselling courses to enable full exploration of where cbt fits in with your work etc.
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9 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars unbalanced, 23 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Against and for CBT: Towards a Constructive Dialogue? (Paperback)
This book does not provide a balanced argument - the vast majority of the chapters are against CBT. Some of the chapters (e.g. Jane Milton & the apalling 'beck didn't live in Birmingham') are quite old and previously appeared in (admittedly obscure) journals. The book has the feel of a rushed job and an attempt to cash in the the current wave of interest in IAPT. Best avoided.
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3 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Billirubin, 20 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Against and for CBT: Towards a Constructive Dialogue? (Paperback)
I think this is an very poorly written book. I do however think that there does need to be continuous debate about this topic. I work in an IAPT service and do not recognise (go on have a pop at me anylists)much of what has been written. Considering the different scholars who have contributed, their arguements are weak. It is rhetoric and unfriendly. Us CBT lot are human. I also think it lacks humilty and humour. I went to look at Freuds museum in Belsize park. I couldnt get in, it was being redecorated. I thought this was funny. When I told my analysts colleagues that I couldnt get in they didnt think it was funny. When I eventually did get in I was asked to leave my bag in the foyer. I suggested that Frued would have wanted me to bring my bag in. Again-met with too much seriuousness.
Oh well.
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1 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent service, 13 Feb. 2009
By 
Dbwhite - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Against and for CBT: Towards a Constructive Dialogue? (Paperback)
Thanks very much for your excellent service and for doing what you said you would when you said you would.
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Against and for CBT: Towards a Constructive Dialogue?
Against and for CBT: Towards a Constructive Dialogue? by Richard House (Paperback - 29 Oct. 2008)
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