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Book Review

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Reviews the book, "Assessment of Client Core Issues" by Richard W. Halstead (see record 2006-21518-000). According to Kays, this book offers a conceptualization of clinical cases synthesizing elements from narrative, schema, and cognitive therapy traditions. The author's stated goal is "to present a model that might help counselors think past a symptom-based formulation for diagnosis and incorporate a structured process for analyzing the vast amount of information clients reveal about their struggles in life". Depending heavily on schema therapy concepts originally developed by J. E. Young, Halstead develops an assessment approach that addresses both the unremarkable and problematic client situations. His purpose in writing is to provide therapists with a tool for conceptualizing cases beyond psychiatric symptoms. Halstead demonstrates that focusing on client core issues, in addition to the DSM-IV diagnostic process, provides four advantages: (a) working with presenting clientconcerns, (b) identifying core themes or issues as a treatment focal point, (c) improving systematic monitoring of client progress, and (d) reducing relapse probability by addressing foundational issues. The advantages of this approach make available practical applications for both students and veteran clinicians. Kays notes specific book strengths, as well as a disadvantage.


Originally published in PsycCritiques