William Gunn: The Collaborative Psychotherapist

William B. Gunn, Jr., PhD is a licensed psychologist and family therapist currently practicing in New Hampshire. He is coauthor (with Nancy Breen Ruddy and Dorothy Borresen) of The Collaborative Psychotherapist: Creating Reciprocal Relationships with Medical Professionals, published by APA Books in 2008 as part of its Psychologists in Independent Practice Series.

Gunn, Ruddy, and Borresen provide step-by-step guidance on how psychotherapists can work with their medical colleagues on a routine basis. They interview four veteran therapists and one medical doctor, each of whom provides valuable insight into collaborating successfully.

In a PsycCRITIQUES review of The Collaborative Psychotherapist, Jeffrey E. Barnett wrote, “This book provides a well-articulated rationale in support of the need for collaborative psychotherapy. … [It] is an important contribution that should be read by all practicing psychotherapists.”

Watch Gunn discuss this important work:

A transcript of this video is available.

Note: The opinions expressed in this interview are those of the authors and should not be taken to represent the official views or policies of the American Psychological Association.

 

 

Casey Taft: On Non-Violence

This is the latest in a series of interviews with APA Books authors and editors. For this interview, Andrew Gifford, Development Editor at APA Books, interviewed Casey T. Taft of the National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, and Boston University School of Medicine.

Note: The opinions expressed in this interview are those of the authors and should not be taken to represent the official views or policies of the American Psychological Association.

Casey Taft

Casey T. Taft, Ph.D. is a staff psychologist at the National Center for PTSD in the VA Boston Healthcare System, and Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Taft was the 2006 Young Professional Award winner from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and the 2009 Linda Saltzman Memorial Intimate Partner Violence Researcher Award winner. He has served or is currently serving as Principal Investigator on funded grants focusing on understanding and preventing intimate partner violence through the National Institute of Mental Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Defense, and the Blue Shield of California Foundation. Dr. Taft has published over 100 empirical papers and book chapters, chaired an American Psychological Association task force on trauma in the military, and consulted with the United Nations on preventing violence and abuse globally.

In addition to the book discussed in this interview, Dr. Taft is also the guest host of Intimate Partner Violence, a Psychotherapy Training Video available on DVD.

In your work with veterans suffering from PTSD, you managed to create something unique, as far as I know:  a model for treating interpersonal violence (IPV) that addresses both perpetrators and victims. How did you come up with this idea?  Could you tell us about the development of this model?  

Our model is trauma-informed in that we account for and discuss the role of trauma throughout the entire assessment and therapy process. What we’ve found is that when we give space for the perpetrator to discuss prior traumatic events, not only does this help set the stage for developing a positive therapeutic alliance and enhance motivation, but it can be healing in and of itself. While our program is not a trauma treatment per se, we do have some evidence that those who receive the program are themselves healing from trauma while they’re also much less likely to inflict trauma upon others. The goal of our program is to stop the cycle of trauma, and we do that be increasing an understanding of trauma and its impacts, and really focusing on how our prior experiences influence how we interpret various situations and our relationship partners.

You’ve noted that many models of IPV treatment do not take trauma into consideration at all. What inspired you to change that, with your model?

 Trauma-informed intervention is increasingly the standard of care for all kinds of problems that might lead someone to treatment, and it stands to reason that we should be doing the same with those who use violence in their relationships. In fact, trauma-informed intervention may be even more important with this population since more than half of those who engage in partner abuse have been abused themselves growing up or observed their parents abusing each other. While almost everyone in the partner violence field acknowledges high rates of trauma in this population, and there seems to be a growing belief that we should be educated about trauma, this hasn’t necessarily translated into specific evidence-based trauma-informed approaches. Especially when we consider that interventions to prevent and end intimate partner violence have not been particularly effective, and other research showing that trauma and PTSD are associated with violence through their influence on how we interpret our social worlds, this seemed like an obvious direction to go.

In your new book Trauma-Informed Treatment and Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence, you and co-authors Christopher M. Murphy and Suzannah K. Creech discuss the importance of a positive therapeutic process. Could you elaborate on what you mean by that phrase? What are some ways that practitioners can adopt a positive approach?

By positive therapeutic process, we’re referring to facilitating positive therapist-client relationships, motivation for ending the abuse, and engagement in the treatment process in general. Historically in partner violence intervention, there has been a tendency to downplay the importance of these factors, with intervention strategies that may be

considered overly confrontational and shaming. This is unfortunate because when we’re working with a trauma-exposed population, they may have difficulty trusting and joining with providers. Therefore, taking a more alliance-enhancing and motivational approach may go a long way towards enhancing our ability to reach violent individuals and help them end their violence. In fact, my dissertation research from long ago showed that when we are able to build a positive working alliance and facilitate group cohesion, those who are in partner violence intervention are less violent and abusive to their partners after program completion.

The programs you’ve developed to end domestic violence in military service members have seen terrific successes and have been adopted by many hospitals and clinics. How do you feel, seeing your work take root in so many places?

It feels amazing, to be honest. So many people have worked really hard to get us to this point. We spent over eight years running randomized controlled trials where we developed our violence prevention programs and evaluated them. Ours are the first programs shown to be effective for this population through controlled trials so we truly believe we are onto something important with this work. To be able to then help with implementing these programs across the VA healthcare system and within the military is exactly what we were hoping for when we began this endeavor. Our vision for the next phase of our clinical research program is to do the same thing with a civilian population. We have every reason to believe that a trauma-informed violence prevention intervention would similarly work for a civilian population.

As a vegan, you’ve written about how you want to promote non-violence towards animals, and echo a similar message of positivity when it comes to our treatment of all living creatures. Do you see violence as a systemic problem in our society?  Are there things we can do in our own lives to help prevent violence, whether on an interpersonal level or more broadly?

We know that when children are violent to animals, it’s a warning sign for problems with interpersonal violence down the road. Similarly, when we sanction unnecessary violence towards other sentient beings in any form, it promotes the view that violence is acceptable. I do see violence as a systemic problem in our society. Violence in many forms towards both human and nonhuman animals is all around us, and I believe that a pro-intersectional framework is required to understand that various forms of violence and injustice are all inter-connected, and all violence stems from the idea that some lives matter less than others, or that some are lesser. It’s quite amazing that all three of the authors for this book are vegan and share this pro-intersectional worldview.

 

 

June Releases From APA Books!

handbook clinical psychAPA Handbook of Clinical Psychology

Volume 1: Roots and Branches; Volume 2: Theory and Research; Volume 3: Applications and Methods; Volume 4: Psychopathology and Health; Volume 5: Education and Profession

Editors-in-Chief John C. Norcross, Gary R. VandenBos, and Donald K. Freedheim

The 5-volume APA Handbook of Clinical Psychology reflects the state-of-the-art in clinical psychology science, practice, research, and training. The Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of:  the history of clinical psychology, specialties and settings, theoretical and research approaches, assessment, treatment and prevention, psychological disorders, health and relational disorders, health promotion, educational paths, psychologists’ development, ethics and standards, professional organizations, and future directions of clinical psychology.

 

telemental health A Practitioner’s Guide to Telemental Health

How to Conduct Legal, Ethical, and Evidence-Based Telepractice

by David D. Luxton, Eve-Lynn Nelson, and Marlene M. Maheu

When providing telehealth services, physical distance can create ethical and safety challenges. Such challenges are manageable when following the best practices outlined in this book, which illustrates how to conduct mental health services via videoconferencing and other technologies.

 

 

 

 

bilingualism across lifespanBilingualism Across the Lifespan

Factors Moderating Language Proficiency

Edited by Elena Nicoladis and Simona Montanari

copublished by APA Books and De Gruyter Mouton

This book pioneers the study of bilingualism across the lifespan and in all its diverse forms. In framing the newest research within a lifespan perspective, the editors highlight the importance of considering an individual’s age in researching how bilingualism affects language acquisition and cognitive development.  This book is a call for language researchers, psychologists, and educators to pursue a better understanding of bilingualism in our increasingly global society.

 

 

women with disabilitiesEliminating Inequities for Women with Disabilities

An Agenda for Health and Wellness

Edited by Shari E. Miles-Cohen and Caroline Signore

Contributors to this book examine the widespread barriers that prevent women with disabilities from accessing effective health care, and offer plans for action to improve wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention among this broad yet underserved population.

 

 

 

 

evidence-based treatment ethnic minoritiesEvidence-Based Psychological Practice With Ethnic Minorities

Culturally Informed Research and Clinical Strategies

Edited by Nolan Zane, Guillermo Bernal, and Frederick T.L. Leong

 

This book suggests strategies for promoting and strengthening research on evidence-based psychological practice with ethnic minority clients and highlights effective and culturally competent treatment programs.

 

 

 

 

interviewing childrenInterviewing Children

The Science of Conversation in Forensic Contexts

by Debra Ann Poole

In this book, Debra Ann Poole presents a flexible, evidence-based approach to interviewing children that reduces the ambiguities and errors in children’s responses. Through her descriptions of best practices, brief summaries of supporting research, and example interview dialogs, Poole provides a roadmap for anyone working in a forensic context. This book is essential reading for those who interview children, supervise interviewers, review interview findings, or craft local policies about interviewing children.

 

 

womanist & mujeristaWomanist and Mujerista Psychologies

Voices of Fire, Acts of Courage

Edited by Thema Bryant-Davis and Lillian Comas-Díaz

This inspiring book introduces the psychologies of womanists and mujeristas—African American women and Latinas, respectively, who have a broad and inclusive approach to feminism and liberation. Womanist and mujerista values and worldviews emphasize resiliency, strength, activism, self-expression, creativity, spirituality/connection, self-definition, and liberation of all oppressed people.

 

 

Book Launch for APA LifeTools® Release Held at the Brookings Institution

golinkoffRoberta Michnick Golinkoff, PhD, obtained her bachelor’s degree at Brooklyn College, her PhD at Cornell University, and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the Learning Research and Development Center of the University of Pittsburgh. She is the Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Education and professor of psychology and of linguistics and cognitive science at the University of Delaware.

 

hirsch-pasekKathryn Hirsh-Pasek, PhD, is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Distinguished Faculty Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Her research examines the development of early language and literacy, as well as the role of play in learning. With her long-term collaborator, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, she is the author of 12 books and hundreds of publications.

On June 7th the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, held a book launch for the new APA LifeTools® book, Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children.

The launch featured a presentation by the authors, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, PhD, and Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, PhD, on the topic of the book, which offers solutions that parents can implement right now. Backed by the latest scientific evidence and illustrated with examples of what’s being done right in schools today, this book introduces the 6Cs—collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence—along with ways parents can nurture their children’s development in each area.

The presentation was followed by a moderated panel that focused on what new systems can be put in place to help children develop a breadth of skills to thrive and find success in the workplace. In addition to the authors, the panel was comprised of Sherry Cleary, the executive director of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, Susan Magsamen, the senior vice president of Early Learning at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Sarah Wolman, the head of partnerships, North America for the LEGO Foundation.

The authors also spoke about the event they helped lead on June 6th on the South Lawn of the White House, Ultimate Block Party, a social movement that focuses on the importance of play and playful learning in children’s lives.