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Basic Psychological Skills for Frontline Staff of Residential Youth Facilities.

Basic Psychological Skills offers an outstanding discussion of clinical and counseling skills for direct care staff working in youth programs. Author Kenneth France, who has firsthand experience as a parent, a juvenile trainer and a residential facility psychologist, provides a unique perspective into the skills direct-care personnel need to be effective.

The book is well-organized and highly readable. It provides numerous procedural steps staff can follow in practicing a variety of clinical techniques and strategies. The book serves as an excellent handbook for juvenile corrections programs with a strong focus on treatment and rehabilitation.

The book is divided into six chapters, with the first devoted to an introduction to several universally applicable concepts that will help readers appreciate their role at their own facility. The remaining chapters focus on specific hands-on skills and clinical techniques staff can use to deal with the problems typically encountered in a youth care program.

In each chapter the author begins with an empirically based discussion to introduce a concept and follows this with useful step-by-step procedures related to the concept. He then offers an anecdotal, verbatim dialogue between himself and youths he has worked with in which he uses these procedures.

After the dialogue, France reviews the process and shows how he used various techniques to direct the process toward the particular skill or issue being presented. Each chapter concludes with a series of study questions to help readers further develop their basic counseling and clinical skills.

I found the chapter on problem solving especially insightful. It provides many practical techniques that should be very helpful in working with troubled youths.

This book is an important contribution to the child care field. It can be used as a self-instruction manual or basic textbook for training programs preparing people for work in direct care positions serving youths in residential settings, community programs or foster care. It also would serve as an excellent review for those already working in the field.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Correctional Association, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Shumate, Denis J.
Publication:Corrections Today
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Aug 1, 1993
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