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Drake, N.W. (1998). The Art and Science of Assessment in Psychotherapy. Edited by Chris Mace. Routledge. £40.00 (hb), £14.99 (pb). Pp. 222.. Psychoanal. Psychother., 12(2):179-180.

(1998). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 12(2):179-180

Book Reviews

The Art and Science of Assessment in Psychotherapy. Edited by Chris Mace. Routledge. £40.00 (hb), £14.99 (pb). Pp. 222.

Review by:
Nollaig W Drake

This book presents a comprehensive view of the theory and practice of assessment across a broad range of psychotherapies. There are contributions from sixteen distinguished clinicians, trainers and researchers, who draw upon a wide literature across the field of psychotherapy. From this point of view, the book provides a very useful resource for further exploration.

Individual chapters describe the assessment process for eight different types of therapy, including psychoanalytic psychotherapy, psychodrama and short-term cognitive behaviour therapy. There are also substantial chapters on couple therapy and focal therapy. Thus the book encompasses a wide range of therapeutic orientations, settings and interests, with the intention of stimulating comparative study that may enhance critical reflection.

Most clinicians would ordinarily have contact with only a fraction of the material in this book and the breadth of experience it represents. In this respect, the book is a timely contribution which reflects the recent developments in the requirements for the professional training of Specialist Registrars in Psychotherapy. It is expected that the consultant who meets a patient for assessment for psychotherapy will be equipped to make an informed decision about the most suitable psychotherapeutic intervention, including no intervention, for any particular individual. In order to do this, we need to be aware of the comparative contributions that each treatment modality can make, its indications and contraindications, its potential risks and benefits.

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