Reflective Practice in Mental Health
Editors: Martin Webber and Jack Nathan
Published by: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2010
The target audience for this book is social workers with several years’ experience who work with clients in the field of mental health and who aspire to become advanced practitioners through developing their understanding of the links between theory and practice, writes Peta Barber.
That said, this book is suitable for a much wider audience – anyone working in the support professions who wants to widen their understanding of what makes practice effective.
The book is divided into three parts. The first part sets out the context by considering what makes a reflective practitioner in the field of mental health today, the historical perspective and the importance of evidence-based practice. The second part focuses on different models of practice. These include solution-focused brief therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, psychoanalytical approaches, systemic family therapy, attachment therapy and psychodynamic group work.
The third part looks at advanced reflective practice in action, through case studies in children and family services, community mental health services, in-patient mental health services and client perspectives. It concludes with consideration of challenges for the future.
As with many books with a range of contributing authors, the writing styles vary. Some chapters are easy to read and others more demanding. However, an aspiring advanced practitioner will view this as part of the challenge of their learning.
I would recommend this book to all social workers and especially those who want to develop their career through acquiring an advanced post initial training qualification.
Peta Barber is area principal psychologist at Highland Council