This practical guide, based on the theory that emotional disorders are influenced by negatively biased thinking, describes how brief cognitive behaviour therapy can provide effective help to clients suffering from a wide range of disorders, including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress, or those who are suicidal. Using illustrative case material throughout, the authors outline strategies for helping clients examine and overcome unhelpful beliefs and patterns of thought at the root of their distress. Following an explanation of brief therapy and the theory behind cognitive behaviour therapy, they describe the process of working with clients through all stages of counseling.



‘Assessment’ is a very wide-ranging term which will be common to a broad variety of different practitioners, each having their own understanding, professional codes and practices and spectrum of application. For example, care managers/social workers, clinical and counselling psychologists, community mental health team members, community psychiatric nurses, counsellors, psychiatrists and psychotherapists will each have assessment tools pertaining to their area of work in mental health. There may be overlap within these various approaches to assessment and there are common elements to all of them (Palmer and McMahon, 1997). For the purpose of this book, we will focus on five main elements:

  • What is the problem?
  • Is cognitive behaviour therapy suitable for the problem?
  • Is the client suitable for brief cognitive behaviour therapy?
  • What are ...
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