Case Studies in Child and Adolescent Counseling (3rd Edition)

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9780130868183: Case Studies in Child and Adolescent Counseling (3rd Edition)

This award-winning book presents a realistic picture of therapy's rewards and challenges through sixteen actual cases involving children and adolescents. Readers are exposed to a variety of counseling theories and the real, live counselors who use them. The cases deal with major problem areas such as sexual abuse, dual diagnoses, seriously dysfunctional families, and addictions. A five-part organization of each case covers: an introduction that discusses the presenting problem and background information about the client; conceptualization of therapeutic goals and strategies; process descriptions of actual client contacts (it explains what happened in sessions and how the therapist's relationship with the client changed over time); outcome sections describing the result of the work done between therapist and client; and discussion explanations of what the author/therapist might have done differently. In addition, the author describes his or her personal and professional growth that resulted from this encounter with a troubled youngster. For child and adolescent counselors beginning their journey as therapists.

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I have to assume that my little casebook meets a need in the field because it's in its third edition. With each new edition, I've added and deleted cases in order to be responsive to changes in the counselors' working environment. In the second edition, I replaced five long-term therapy cases with ones that illustrated brief counseling strategies. Prevailing economic conditions favored short-term interventions, as they still do. In this third edition, I've replaced three private practice cases with ones set in schools. The new cases deal with major problem areas, such as sexual abuse, addictions, dual diagnoses, seriously dysfunctional families, and foster care. School counselors tell me that these are the kinds of cases that they are seeing. The sum is a balanced set of case studies that reflect today's practice in school, agency, and private practice settings.

I think it's significant that several contributors chose case studies from their early days of training and supervised practice. Some have included supervisors as coauthors. This should encourage those of us who train counselors. Those debriefing sessions with a supportive mentor, confronting personal issues, and even the tedious requirement to transcribe dialog have a powerful cumulative effect on the emerging therapist.

This is a hard book to organize because each case is idiosyncratic. It would be nice if I could pigeonhole each case as illustrative of a single counseling method, but real-life cases just don't work that way, so I've simply put them in order of client age.

There's a summary chart (following the table of contents) that allows an at-a-glance comparison of the 16 cases. For example, the reader will see that Suzanne M. Hobson, an elementary-school counselor, employs child-centered therapy to treat a 4-year-old boy suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from physical and sexual abuse.

Each case is organized as follows:

Introduction. The initial paragraphs lay out the presenting problem and background information about the client. The reader should know that in every case the identities of clients have been disguised. (This section is not titled.)

Conceptualization. Here the author discusses therapeutic goals and strategies. The author may justify the use of a specific theoretical orientation, such as Adlerian, systems, cognitive, behavioral. A rationale for diagnosis is also discussed.

Process. Actual client contacts are described. What happened in the sessions? How did the therapist's relationship with the client change over time?

Outcome. The author describes the results, for better or worse. I did not ask authors to present their most successful cases. I was after the cases that touched them.

Discussion. With the benefit of hindsight, the author explains what he or she might have done differently. In addition, the author describes personal and professional growth that resulted from this encounter with a troubled youngster.

Authors have provided their e-mail addresses (see "Biographical Statements") and have assured me that they would love to hear from readers. Take them up on it and get in touch.

I anticipate that readers will develop strong feelings about these cases. At the risk of waxing eloquent, I think this book beats with the pulse of living psychotherapy.

Acknowledgments

I gratefully acknowledge the help I received with proofreading from Becky T. Bean, a graduate assistant in our counseling program, and the expert assistance of production editor Linda Bayma, copyeditor Debbie Stone, and Executive Editor Kevin Davis of Merrill/Prentice Hall.

I would also like to thank the following reviewers for their comments and suggestions: Leslie Brody, Boston University; Amanda Franklin, Antioch University, Seattle; Richard James, University of Memphis; Susan James, Western Kentucky University; and Sondra L. Smith, Louisiana State University.

Larry B. Golden, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Coordinator
Counseling and Guidance Program
The University of Texas at San Antonio

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