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Sep 2016 by PCI College

Bite Sized Book Review : CBT for Beginners, 2nd Edition

Authors: Jane Simmons and Rachel Griffiths Reviewed by : Eoin Stephens

There are many introductory books on the subject of learning to work with CBT, many of them good (such as those by Judith Beck, Wills & Sanders, Wright et al...). So why consider another one? Well, this one happened to come my way recently, and I’m writing this review to draw attention to it as another alternative because I found it particularly clearly structured and well laid out, as if in answer to exactly the questions I find students asking.

The book is divided into three sections:

Part I: CBT – What Is It?
•    What is CBT?
•    Who Benefits from CBT?
•    The CBT Model

This section is very clearly laid out, especially for the target audience of beginners. This clarity of structure, order and writing is for me the main strength of the book overall, and it mirrors the way in which CBT practice itself is supposed to work.

PART II: CBT – How Do You Do It?
•    CBT Assessment
•    CBT Formulation
•    Setting Therapy Goals

The sections on Reformulation, Sample Formulation Letter, and Common Problems with Formulation are particularly useful. These are exactly the kind of areas students particularly need help with, in my experience.

PART III: And the Rest…
•    Mindfulness
•    Problem Solving
•    Working with Emotions

Again, some of these are very necessary areas, which aren’t always emphasised, and which I find myself adding in from various sources when I am teaching. Goal-setting and Motivation, especially, shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Obviously, there is a UK-based focus (for instance on referral to the NHS). However, the situation is probably sufficiently similar in Ireland for this not to be a major issue.

Eoin Stephens, MIACP, MACI

September 2016


For information on the Professional Certificate in CBT from PCI College click HERE.

This book is available on Amazon.


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