Problems Presented by Alcoholic Clients: A Handbook of Counseling Strategies


131 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-88868-050-3




Patricia R. Petryshen, B.A., B.Sc.N., M.S.N., lived in London, Ontario.


The author’s academic background in psychology and clinical expertise in alcoholic counselling have obviously provided a valuable basis for the suggested intervention strategies.

Problems occurring during the counselling process are identified, and a chapter is then allocated to each concern. A pertinent literature review precedes the problem, after which detailed verbal and non-verbal interventions are specified. The author has been thorough in anticipating potential and actual therapeutic problems. Although the focus is on counselling the alcoholic client, the book is also appropriate for use in a more general sense (e.g., counselling the psychiatric patient).

The author pursues a client-centered, humanistic approach. Personal comments and opinions add an interesting touch. Counsellors who attempt the suggested intervention and verbal responses with clients would undoubtedly enhance their counselling style.

The book could be improved by the addition of a summary chapter and an index for reference.

Despite the numerous innovative interventions, occasionally a technique is somewhat questionable. For example, contrary to the author’s suggestion (p. 17), a patients leisure lifestyle will not change simply because the therapist “saturates” the patient with leisure activities. Also, on page 21, paragraph 3, the author suggests a method for a patient acting out anger that is somewhat suspect in relation to its therapeutic value. Perhaps this paragraph could be clarified and referenced, or removed.

In summary, the book is well written, clear, concise, and practical in its application of intervention techniques for counselling the alcoholic patient.


Jacobs, Michael R., “Problems Presented by Alcoholic Clients: A Handbook of Counseling Strategies,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024,