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The Chemical Dependence Treatment PlannerReview - The Chemical Dependence Treatment Planner
by Robert R. Perkinson and Arthur E. Jongsma, Jr
John Wiley & Sons, 1998
Review by Wendell J Montney
Jun 8th 1999 (Volume 3, Issue 23)

Clinicians take notice. The problematic process of objective treatment planning has become easier. This book is one of the Practice Planners series. These tools are intended to help therapists with documentation. The authors make notice of a significant point in the introduction. Treatment planning must be more than simply taking phrases from a book and placing them into a document. Effective treatment planning flows from a thorough assessment. Given this caveat, the assistance offered to simplify the process is excellent.

No discussion of theoretical assumptions is given in the definitions, short and long term goals, or the therapeutic interventions. This serves as a double-edged sword. Experienced clinicians will be able to sort through the selection of interventions and find appropriate ones which fit with their theoretical persuasion. However, naïve clinicians may use these interventions without regard their theoretical basis. This could cause some difficulty in delivering treatment. Fortunately, most of the interventions are cognitive-behavioral which selects for the clinician a theory which is proven to work across much of the population. There is also strong emphasis on skill development and participation in support groups such as twelve step. These are the most effective strategies with the chemically dependent population.

Each chapter contains suggestions for possible diagnosis. Diagnostic impressions cannot always be drawn from the treatment goals or therapeutic interventions. Therapists should formulate diagnostic impressions through the thorough assessment of the client. While the book does acknowledge this, the practice of suggesting diagnosis merely from treatment goals has the potential to lead to poor clinical practice. Clinicians using this tool should not develop diagnostic impressions based solely on these suggestions..

Overall, Perkinson and Jongsma have created a much needed resource for the field. Information from this book is also available electronically. This tool should be a part of every clinician’s basic library.

Wendell J. Montney, Ph.D. is Director of Behavioral Healthcare at Kairos Healthcare, Saginaw, MI. His formal education includes Psychology, Education, and Chemical Dependency. His informal education includes Religion, Theology, Public Health, Managed Care, Current Issues in Medicine and Psychiatry related to Behavioral Healthcare, Organizational Design, Technology, and related Public Policy Issues. Programs at Kairos Healthcare include Intensive Outpatient, Short-term Residential, Intensive Crisis Treatment (Inpatient MH Diversion) and Proactive Development in Partnership with Managed Care.


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