Depression: Theories and Treatments: Psychological, Biological and Social Perspectives.

Author:Libassi, Mary Frances
Position:Brief Article

This book has five objectives: (1) to discuss the definition and differential diagnosis of depression; (2) to provide an overview of the most important theories related to the etiology of depression; (3) to describe major treatment approaches that have been empirically tested; (4) to offer principles and guidelines for a unified approach to the assessment and treatment of depression; and (5) to highlight contemporary issues related to the differential assessment and treatment of depression in relation to gender, aging, children and adolescents, couples and families, and sociocultural variations. The authors have accomplished every one.

First, the authors define and describe various types of depression, identify symptoms that categorize each type, and highlight controversial issues involved in the formal diagnosis of depression. Although the content is not presented in great detail, the social work practitioner and educator will find that the material is extremely useful as an overview of the symptoms of depression and their manifestation in clients. Furthermore, the issues regarding the diagnostic process identified are valuable and helpful work with both clients and other professionals.

Second, the authors present a comprehensive review of biological and psychological theories that are associated with depression. Particularly noteworthy is the extensive use of the most recent research in the discussion. Also important is the book's emphasis on the hypothetical nature of this research, cautioning that much research is still emerging. Although the section on the biological theories of the etiology of depression may be a more technical discussion than most social workers want, it does provide an important and thorough grounding in the way in which body systems function. As clients (consumers) and their families become more sophisticated in...

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