This handbook discusses issues concerning the definition, the assessment, and, in particular, the practice of brief cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). We believe it is unique, in that it shows practitioners how they can use brief CBT to treat a wide variety of problems, including those of a clinical, academic/evaluative, and occupational stress/performance nature.
This book also considers the differences between brief and “regular” CBT, identifies contraindications for the former, and summarises the empirical evidence of the efficacy of brief CBT Finally, this book discusses an important professional issue in brief CBT: therapist burnout and how to avoid it.
Certainly, the time seems ripe for a handbook on brief CBT. The UK National Health Service and managed care in the USA are now influential, and difficult to ignore, advocates for the use of brief psychotherapeutic interventions.
Furthermore, even before these powerful proponents, therapists were commenting that many individual clients were seeking brief psychotherapy for their problems (Wells, 1993); and, in response to these wishes, books have been published that detail brief therapies from psychodynamic (e.g., Book, 1998), eclectic (Garfield, 1998), and multiple perspectives (e.g., Wells & Giannetti, 1993).
These books do not, however, provide CBT-oriented psychologists with knowledge about how to treat a wide range of problems from their own perspective. One aim of this volume is to provide this currently needed knowledge.
Another distinctive goal of this handbook, as briefly mentioned above, is to detail how brief CBT can be used to treat problems in several different settings. Today, CBT is employed in the traditional consulting room, hospital wards, and even organisations.
Clinical and counselling psychologists are often the people who administer CBT in these diverse settings, but work and health psychologists are now receiving training in this psychotherapy and employing it in their specialist areas.
It does not appear that one book on CBT has described how this approach to treatment can be employed in the different contexts in which it is currently used. Thus, we hope that this book can make a timely, unique, and useful contribution by describing how brief CBT is used to treat ubiquitous problems such as emotional disorders, pain, test (or evaluative) anxiety, and work-related stress.