Forensic CBT: A Handbook for Clinical Practice Paperback – 1 Nov 2013
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I very much enjoyed reading this book; it contains excellent chapters, and demonstrates the advances that have been made in recent years in the understanding and treatment of offenders. There is no doubt that this book will be of immense interest and use to practitioners. The book is very informative of what is currently available for treating offenders and includes user friendly forms, worksheets, and examples of case histories, which will aid the practitioner. The book offers hope to practitioners who have to deal with challenging offenders, most of whom lack motivation to change. In short, I found reading this book fascinating and inspirational. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 2014
"This book should be considered a must read for anyone who works anywhere in the corrections system, (local, state, and/or federal). Whether you are working with pretrial incarcerated offenders in a jail, convicted offenders in a prison, probation, parole, half–way house and/or community supervision, this book will offer you numerous practical worksheets and handouts and a set of new tools that will make you more effective and successful with the people in your care and supervision." Gustavo R. Grodnitzky, Psychologist and Consultant, Amazon.com
Forensic CBT: A Handbook for Clinical Practice is a superb collection that will be of immense value to practitioners who work with this challenging group of people. Leading contributors from the CBT approaches have written excellent chapters that will be immediately helpful, striking just the right balance between scholarship and practical application. There is an awareness of the specific challenges in working with offenders––– distrust, lack of motivation, history of problems, lack of social support, stigmatization–––and, importantly, how to overcome them. I highly recommend this important volume to anyone working in the forensic area.
Professor Robert L. Leahy, Director, American Institute for Cognitive Therapy, NYC.
This handbook is long overdue as it fills a glaring void in forensic and correctional treatment. With its application of CBT to an array of offenders and their conditions, it elucidates the forgotten R (responsivity) in the RNR model of effective correctional intervention.
Dr Stephen Wormith, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Incisive, comprehensive, scholarly, and practical – Tafrate and Mitchell s Forensic CBT is an impressive body of work, with contributions from leaders in the field integrating innovations in applied research and clinical practice for cognitive behavioral approaches with forensic clientele.
Professor Mark Olver, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
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This book should be considered a must read for anyone who works anywhere in the corrections system, (local, state, and/or federal). Whether you are working with pretrial incarcerated offenders in a jail, convicted offenders in a prison, probation, parole, half-way house and/or community supervision, this book will offer you numerous practical worksheets and handouts and a set of new tools that will make you more effective and successful with the people in your care and supervision.
This book has many strengths. One of the most prominent stands out as soon as you open the cover and turn to the Table of Contents. The editors of this book, Drs. Tafrate and Mitchell, have been able to bring together a veritable “Who’s Who” of the biggest and most well known international authors in the area of forensic, correctional, and cognitive-behavioral psychology. The overall tone of the book is nuanced, clear, and shows a real understanding of the complexities of doing clinical work with a range of offender populations in a variety of forensic settings.
The book is structured by parts, sections, and chapters. Each part covers a major area of forensic psychology, practice, problem area, and/or special population. Depending on the topics covered, each part is then broken down into sections and specific chapters. This structure makes the book coherent and well organized. The parts and chapters are briefly reviewed below.
Chapter 1. Introduction: Critical Issues and Challenges Facing Forensic CBT Practitioners, by Damon Mitchell, David J. Simourd and Raymond Chip Tafrate, is an excellent description and summary of why this book is important, the current status of forensic psychology, and what the reader will gain from this book. There is a particularly strong discussion between the distinguishing factors between Antisocial behavior, Antisocial Personality Disorder, and Psychopathy.
Part I. Criminal Behavior and Antisocial Patterns: Conceptualizing treatment from different CBT perspectives. This part contains chapters that cover both traditional and next generation CBT Models.
Chapter 2. Traditional Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Models for Antisocial Patterns, by Lori Seeler, Arthur Freeman, Raymond DiGiuseppe, and Damon Mitchell. This chapter displays the authors’ depth of understanding of the various challenges that arise when working with clients with antisocial behavior patterns. This chapter also describes the difficulties in establishing client motivation and commitment, as well as therapists’ need to have strong skill sets and ability to quickly develop a therapeutic alliance.
Chapter 3. ACT for the Incarcerated, by Jai Amrod and Steven C. Hayes, is a strongly written chapter on how acceptance and commitment therapy can be applied to incarcerated and community corrections populations. It has a strong emphasis on specific therapeutic skills and contains dialog between an inmate and an ACT therapist that is also very helpful.
Chapter 4. Schema Therapy for Aggressive Offenders with Personality Disorders, by Marije Keulen-de Vos, David P. Bernstein, and Arnoud Arntz, is a chapter that focuses on recent developments of the application of Schema Therapy with offenders who have been diagnosed with personality disorders. It focuses on offenders that are particularly at risk for increased violence and recidivism.
Chapter 5. An Overview of Strategies for the Assessment and Treatment of Criminal Thinking, by Daryl G. Kroner and Robert D. Morgan. This chapter effectively documents the importance of assessing and treating criminal thinking when working with a population of offenders. Specifically, the authors detail how criminal thinking has a functional role in perception, is predictive and criminal and antisocial behavior, and can be altered with intervention.
Chapter 6. Applying CBT to the Criminal Thought Process, by Glenn D. Walters, is a chapter that serves as a strong complement to the previous chapter and focuses on the process of criminal thinking. It also offers practical intervention strategies and convincing evidence on how CBT can be effective in changing the criminal thought process.
Chapter 7. Training Community Corrections Officers in Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions Strategies, by Tanya Rugge and James Bonta. This is one of my favorite chapters. The authors do a “deep dive” into Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model. This is an empirically supported model that everyone working with offenders should familiarize themselves, particularly working in community supervision and those training others to work in the field of corrections.
Part II. CBT Interventions for Common Criminal Justice Problem Areas, is broken down into four sections: the treatment of Anger; Intimate Partner Violence; Addictions; and Sexual Aggression. With its four sections and eight chapters, the editors and authors truly hit their stride. I would describe this part as the “core” of the book. For anyone who is currently working, or will be working in a correctional setting, you are certain to find some of your most difficult cases described here. More importantly, you will also find strategic and tactical answers on how to work with your most difficult offenders in the future.
Chapter 8. Anger Management for Offenders: A Flexible CBT Approach, by Howard Kassinove and Michael J. Toohey. This chapter is written with an in-depth empirical review to support the concept that anger is episodic and that anger management is indeed effective. This chapter also provides rich models, examples, and interventions that will certainly be useful for anyone working with people who have a history of explosive behavior, whether they are offenders or not.
Chapter 9. Contextual Anger Regulation Therapy (CART): An Acceptance-Based Treatment for Domestic and Non-Domestic Violent Offenders, by Frank L. Gardner and Zella E. Moore, is another chapter which is rich in empirical evidence. It begins with the empirical and theoretical foundations for CART. Then it provides 9 specific modules for treatment and applying the CART model.
Chapter 10. CBT for Perpetrators of Intimate Partner Violence: The “I3” Approach, by Christopher I. Eckhardt, Cory A. Crane, and Joel G. Sprunger. In this chapter the authors offer a thorough review of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) data. They go on to explain in detail the I3 theory and approach, focusing on Instigation, Impellance, and Inhibition. While the data indicate that IPV is clearly a result many factors, the authors make a strong case for the application of this model through their explanation of theory, definitions, and case examples.
Chapter 11. A Couples-Based Violence Reduction Approach to Curbing Intimate Partner Assault, by George F. Ronan, Kimberly Maurelli, and Krista M. Holman, offers a great deal in the way of applicable components in a violence reduction program, maintaining motivation during treatment, and implementing strategies for change. I found the strategies for change section of this chapter to be the most immediately actionable.
Chapter 12. An Integrated REBT-Based Approach to the Treatment of Addicted Offenders, by F. Michler Bishop, is another very well written chapter in the book. It offers a strong section on conceptualizing motivation for addicted offenders and then moves into a detailed, integrated, six-pronged approach for treating addicted offenders. This is a must read chapter for anyone who is currently working with, or is likely to work with, addicted offenders.
Chapter 13. Social and Community Responsibility Therapy (SCRT): A Cognitive-Behavioral Model for the Treatment of Substance Abusing Judicial Clients, by Kenneth W. Wanberg and Harvey B. Milkman. This is another of my favorite chapters in the book. Its fundamental premise: The goal of helping clients reduce their psychological distress and pain tends to be egocentric. Effective offender treatment must include a sociocentric approach that involves social responsibility towards others, community, and society as a whole. The authors expertly support this premise through concrete models, practitioner tools, developmental skills, strategies, and case studies. This is an outstanding chapter that should be read by all practitioners working with offenders inside and outside of correctional settings.
Chapter 14. Balancing Clients’ Strengths and Deficits in Sexual Offender Treatment: The Rockwood Treatment Approach, by William L. Marshall and Matt D. O’Brien, is a chapter that offers a detailed overview of the treatment phases, targets, and critical aspects of treatment delivery for sex offenders. It makes a well-supported argument that adopting a strength-based approach to the treatment of sexual offenders maximizes effectiveness.
Chapter 15. Recidivism Risk Reduction Therapy (3RT): Cognitive-Behavioral Approaches to Treating Sexual Offense Behavior, by Jennifer Wheeler and Christmas Covell. This chapter focuses on existing cognitive behavioral techniques to identify and treat dynamic risk factors (DRFs) in the treatment of sexual offenders. It offers the reader an overview of 3RT and specific steps for treatment, post treatment, and relapse prevention phases of work with this very difficult-to-treat population.
Part III. Tailoring CBT to Special Forensic Populations. This part of the book includes three chapters focused on special populations commonly encountered within correctional and community settings.
Chapter 16. Advancing the Use of CBT with Justice-Involved Women, by Marilyn Van Deiten and Erica King. This chapter begins with an overview of the empirical evidence that supports a gender specific approach for the treatment of women who are involved in the justice system. It then explains a set of guiding practices for the application of CBT for this population and offers strategies how to incorporate these practices into specific interventions. As a psychologist who has worked with women in a correctional setting, I found this chapter to be clear, well written, and find myself wishing it had been available while I worked in a correctional setting. It is a chapter I would strongly recommend to treatment professionals working with women in a correctional or community environment.
Chapter 17. CBT with Juvenile Offenders; A Review and Recommendations for Practice, by Eva Feindler and Alison M. Byers, is a chapter that focuses on the real complexity of doing treatment with juvenile offenders. This chapter makes excellent suggestions regarding what prevention, intervention and rehabilitation resources are available. More importantly, it recognizes that successful treatment requires a multi-component CBT intervention protocol, which includes parents and/or family as a critical treatment element.
Chapter 18. Culturally Responsive CBT in Forensic Settings, by Andrew Day, is my favorite chapter in this book. It thoroughly explains how an individual’s context, culture, history, and socio-political circumstances must be taken into account when planning and executing cognitive-behavioral interventions. While this may seem patently obvious to some, this is a concept that is too often ignored by many. This chapter offers a strong explanation and strategic approach to how to include cultural factors in the treatment of offenders.
Part IV. Emerging Ideas for Practice. This part includes four chapters on emerging and promising treatment methodologies that can be integrated with existing CBT approaches in treating offenders.
Chapter 19. Session-by Session Assessment of Client Participation and Progress, by David J. Simourd. This chapter offers a structured method to collect both qualitative and quantitative data within a therapeutic session. It offers a variety of tools for the practitioner that look to be promising and very applicable to working with offender populations. Its method is simple in its application, but also comprehensive in gathering relevant information.
Chapter 20. Integrating Motivational Interviewing with Forensic CBT: Promoting Treatment Engagement and Behavioral Change with Justice-Involved Clients, by Raymond Chip Tafrate and Jennifer D. Luther, is another strong chapter on many levels. It offers the reader a specific and concrete understanding of the motivational interviewing (MI) process (ie. Engaging, Focusing, Evoking, and Planning). It also offers some critical distinctions between MI and CBT, as well as how these differences can be integrated for greater success in treatment.
Chapter 21. Integrating Strength-Based Practice with Forensic CBT: The Good Lives Model of Offender Rehabilitation, by Clare-Ann Fortune and Tony Ward. The Good Lives Model (GLM) is part of a broader based positive psychology and strengths-based approach to treatment. This chapter demonstrates how to successfully reduce the risk of additional criminal offenses by working collaboratively with the offender to identify and achieve their life goals through prosocial means.
Chapter 22. Treating Depression and PTSD Behind Bars: An Interaction Schemas Approach, by Key Sun, is a chapter that focuses on the interaction of schemas in the treatment of depression and PTSD. It emphasizes that evaluations, explanations, perceptions, and emotional and behavioral reactions serve as evidence of the interconnectedness of this mental and emotional system. It identifies self-schemas, interpersonal schemas, and pattern schemas as the representations of human experience and offers specific treatment strategies for practitioners to utilize with offenders.
Part V. Conclusions. This part contains a single chapter highlighting important themes from the preceding chapters and offers concrete recommendations for clinical practice.
Chapter 23. Forensic CBT: Five Recommendations for Clinical Practice and Five Topics in Need of More Attention, by Raymond Chip Tafrate, Damon Mitchell, and Raymond W. Novaco, serves as a strong and fitting conclusion to this book. First, five recommendations for clinical practice are offered, directly to clinicians, in the order they are likely to be experienced when working with criminal offenders. Second, five areas are highlighted as needing additional empirical research in the field of correctional and/or forensic psychology.
This is a new book that is long overdue in the field of forensic/correctional psychology and CBT. It is a book that should be read by every clinician that hopes to work successfully with criminal offender populations. After it has been read, it should also be kept within reach on a shelf for frequent reference. It is a seminal work in the field of psychology that not only adds to the current body of knowledge in this field, but also will clearly influence the thinking of future practitioners and researchers alike. I give this book my highest recommendation and urge clinicians and practitioners who work with offender populations to read it, use it, and share it with others.
Ginnie Taylor, Ph.D.
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