Hong Kong J Psychiatry 2005;15:138-39


Advances in Psychotherapy, Evidence-based Practice: Bipolar Disorder

Authors: Reiser RP, Thompson LW
Hogrefe & Huber, 2005.

US$24.95; pp112; ISBN: 0-88937-310-8

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Bipolar Disorder is the first in the series titled Advances in Psychotherapy, Evidence-based Practice, developed by the Society of Clinical Psychology (American Psychological Association, Division 12) and is intended for a home-based continuous education readership.

The book's title suggests an emphasis on quantitative research. At the same time, the authors clearly define 'psycho- therapy' early on in the Preface section. This immediately clarifies to the reader that the book covers psychosocial treat- ment and not conventional psychotherapies.

The book is divided into 7 chapters. In keeping with the aim of the series, this book begins with a chapter covering definitions and diagnoses. Chapter 2 deals with the theories and models of psychosocial treatment and could have been more aptly titled "Theories and Models of Psychosocial Treatments" rather than "Theories and Models of Bipolar Disorder". Chapter 3 details the treatment indications that impact on the rehabilitation phase of the illness. Chapter 4, the longest chapter, details various aspects of cognitive behavioural therapy such as collaborative engagement, chart- ing and monitoring, activity scheduling complemented by psychoeducation, motivational techniques for insight and treatment adherence, social orientation, family management, and identification of warning signs. Throughout this chapter, case vignettes are provided for demonstration purposes.

Further Reading, References and Appendix comprise the remaining chapters. The Appendix is particularly notewor- thy since numerous charts and forms are provided to assist therapists with their sessions and for patients to follow as homework.

This book does not provide a comprehensive coverage of bipolar disorder as the title would have us believe, and the section in Chapter 4 that focuses on demoralisation and psychic re-integration of the recovering bipolar patient could have been further elaborated on.

To summarise, I found this book easy to read, informa- tive, and user-friendly, albeit for an audience well versed with psychology, with much of the text being didactic and confined to the psychosocial aspects on bipolar rehabili- tation. I would recommend it as supplementary reading for psychiatric trainees who are preparing for their membership examination. Clinicians who are oriented towards the cognitive behavioural paradigm will also find this book useful, especially if the bulk of their work is day hospital- based or involves outpatient settings.

Dr Eddie So Psychiatrist
Sussex Specialist Centre, New South Wales

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