Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Youth: Friedberg Publishes New Book on Traditions and Innovations

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Robert Friedberg, Ph.D., ABPP, is a full professor at Palo Alto University. He’s the Head of the Pediatric Behavioral Health Emphasis Area in the Ph.D. program, as well as Director and Research Group Advisor, Center for the Study and Treatment of Anxious Youth.

Dr. Friedberg co-edited "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Youth: Tradition and Innovation" with Brad Nakamura, Ph.D. The recently published book covers the proper applications of cognitive behavioral theory (CBT) with youth experiencing depression, OCD, eating disorders, and other emotional disorders.  
He recently answered a few questions about his new book:

Can you summarize the book for us, please?

"Flexibility within fidelity" is the current watchphrase in the practice of Cognitive Behavior Therapy with youth. Accordingly, our text, "Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with Youth: Tradition and Innovation," presents both standard and novel approaches to treating a variety of emotionally distressing problems such as depression, trauma, anxiety, OCD, autism, disruptive behavior disorders, substance use, eating disorders., etc. 
Additionally, the book includes cutting edge chapters on integrating cultural diversity in CBT, mindfulness, and trans-diagnostic treatment. The various contributors are leading clinician-scientists from premier institutions across the United States.

What inspired you to write the book? 

A clear irony exists with the domain of CBT with youth. The data is clear that CBT approaches significantly outperform other treatment packages for youth. Yet, few patients receive a proper dose of CBT due to poorly trained clinicians and practitioners who do not correctly apply the treatment. 
Moreover, access to genuine CBT is limited and patients from marginalized populations are even less likely to receive good care creating serious problems in behavioral health equity. Dr Nakamura's and my intent was to provide a piece of work that might mitigate these circumstances.

Tell us more about your collaboration with co-author Dr. Brad Nakamura.

One of my great personal and professional pleasures is collaborating with Dr. Nakamura. He is a Professor at the University of Hawaii-Manoa and a pioneer in the field of psychotherapy with youth especially with the nationally recognized MATCH and MAP programs. I had worked with Brad on a couple of smaller projects and I thought our partnership would be a natural fit. Indeed, he augmented my strengths and remedied my weaknesses. 
Dr. Nakamura is a brilliant scholar, exceptional critical thinker, and outstanding clinician who appreciates both fine details and broad concepts. As for me, I have a lifelong passion in disseminating evidence-based approaches to young patients and their families and training others to deliver accountable and accessible behavioral health care interventions.

What motivates you to utilize CBT with youth and write about the applications? 

I have been licensed for the past 32-plus years and worked primarily in academic health care settings where there was a seamless integration of clinical care and research. During all these years, seeing the difference good CBT makes in patients' and family’s lives is a genuine privilege. It is simply AWESOME. Training others to do the same is a way to extend the reach of truly powerful intervention.

What’s next on the horizon, either for the book launch or regarding your research, teaching, or other publishing activities?

Before starting the book with Brad, I had finished another book with a PAU grad, Dr. Jennifer Paternostro, "Handbook of CBT with Pediatric Medical Conditions," which we are especially proud of. 
Along with another PAU grad, Dr. Erica Rozmid, I was awarded a book contract to publish a text on the use of play and superheroes in CBT with youth. We are working on that project now. 
Finally, our research group, Center for the Study and Treatment of Anxious Youth, is working on a large-scale study investigating the relationship of intolerance of uncertainty and COVID thoughts and behaviors in children and their caregivers.
More information about Dr. Friedberg’s latest book, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Youth: Tradition and Innovation, can be found on the publisher's website.
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