Caby, A. & Caby, F. (2014). The therapist’s treasure chest: Solution-oriented tips and tricks for everyday practice. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. 345 pages. ISBN: 9780393708622
Reviewed by: Mona Zohny, Hunter College
In The Therapist’s Treasure Chest, translated by Jenny Piening, Andrea and Filip Caby have gathered a multitude of interventions designed to be used with children, adolescents and their families in therapy. The authors have gathered these techniques through their own training and experience as well as the experience of other professionals. This book is a practical tool designed to help therapists deal with a multitude of “psychological problems that have not yet become entrenched.” (56)
Part One serves as an overview of both the theoretical framework that the authors use and the therapeutic conversation. They explain their systemic, solution-oriented and resource-focused approach to therapy. The authors also provide examples of effective questioning techniques along with several case examples that help illustrate the concepts in this section.
Part Two describes dozens of therapeutic techniques. Each intervention follows the same format: idea, method, tips (in which the authors offer variations of the technique), indications, contraindications (when it doesn’t work) and the setting. Some techniques are designed to be used in the consulting room while others can be implemented by the client at home. The authors provide detailed descriptions of the purpose and application of each intervention along with case examples in which the technique is successfully implemented.
Part Three focuses on different disorders and behavioral problems clients may have and lists the interventions (found in Part Two) that can be used by therapists to help their clients find a solution. The issues addressed here range from anxiety to sibling rivalry and from intellectual disabilities to nail-biting. The authors provide a brief description of each problem and then list the suggested interventions, followed by general suggestions and/or a case example.
Part Four offers solutions to particularly challenging situations that a therapist typically has to deal with. These situations range from expressions of hopelessness from the client such as “Things are never going to improve!” (294) to arguments in the consulting room. In each scenario, the authors provide a list of helpful responses that a therapist can use to help the client deal with his or her problem.
The Therapist’s Treasure Chest is a valuable resource for therapists working with children and families. The interventions in this book are both creative and practical. The format makes it easy for readers to search for solutions to specific issues or browse through interventions to use in their practice. The authors offer variations for each skill and encourage readers to make adjustments in their own use of these techniques. The case examples provided throughout the text help to illustrate how these interventions can be implemented effectively.