Reviews

Working with Dual Diagnosis: A Psychosocial Perspective

This book is divided into two. Part one provides a historical and political context. Part two is practice based. While conceptualising dual diagnosis within a social paradigm, part one is still highly relevant to mental health nursing. It explores a number of models and, in particular, presents social and biomedical models with fairness and depth, examining their limits and applicability, and also revealing some potentially weak assumptions on which they are based

This book is divided into two. Part one provides a historical and political context. Part two is practice based. While conceptualising dual diagnosis within a social paradigm, part one is still highly relevant to mental health nursing. It explores a number of models and, in particular, presents social and biomedical models with fairness and depth, examining their limits and applicability, and also revealing some potentially weak assumptions on which they are based.

It highlights weaknesses in the evidence base related to dual diagnosis policy and practice, and emphasises the value of service user and activist involvement. Overall, but at the expense of a medical explanation, part one leans heavily towards a socio-political position to understand the development of dual diagnosis as a concept and the approaches that may help people who experience it.

Part two is comprehensive and detailed. It looks at individual, group and family approaches, and highlights the recovery movement. It mixes skills and knowledge, ideology and philosophy coherently and in a matter of fact way that conveys simplicity in practice.

This will help give confidence to practitioners new in the field who may view dual diagnosis as overly complex and daunting. The precise description of helping strategies, good references to evidence and case study reflection exercises make this a book well worth buying.

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