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Hyun, A. (2021). Different Patients, Different Therapies: Optimizing Treatment Using Differential Psychotherapeutics, by Deborah Cabaniss and Yael Holoshitz, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, NY, 2019, 512 pp, $59.95.. Psychodyn. Psych., 49(1):160-164.
(2021). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 49(1):160-164
Different Patients, Different Therapies: Optimizing Treatment Using Differential Psychotherapeutics, by Deborah Cabaniss and Yael Holoshitz, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, NY, 2019, 512 pp, $59.95.
Review by: Aerin Hyun, M.D., Ph.D
Ten years ago, in the midst of my psychiatry residency training, my co-residents and I experienced confusion over how to choose a therapy modality while learning several of them simultaneously. Two of us decided to pose our questions to experts in select modalities (psychodynamic psychotherapy, CBT, DBT), presenting them with a sample case and ultimately writing a paper summarizing their responses and our conclusions (Gastelum et al., 2011).
Looking back now, almost a decade later, it feels like a gift to be presented with the opportunity to revisit those days via this book written by Drs. Cabaniss and Holoshitz. Different Patients, Different Therapies provides an operationalized way of thinking about how to choose between modalities when evaluating and treating patients. Reading it prompted me to reflect back on that confusing and exhilarating time in my training history, comparing it with how I think about patients now.
During residency, I had opted to participate in the psychotherapy track (started by Dr. Cabaniss) offered during my PGY3-4 years, and in doing so learned multiple modalities simultaneously, including brief dynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy. As a result, not only did I graduate with a multitude of tools in my toolbox, but with a veritable surplus!
It's a good problem to have, and this book provides a great remedy for it. It brought me back to those early days of learning about different modalities, excitedly soaking them up while also confusedly wondering how to use them. As always, when such large questions loomed, Dr. Cabaniss advised us to “write about it!” She had been grappling with similar questions, but from the perspective of residency education. And so we did.
[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]