Book review by Tammy Davidson, speech and language therapist researcher, University of East Anglia.
The authors indicate that this book was written predominantly for student clinicians to help them meet the demands of professional practice. It does not concentrate on any one speech and language disorder, but rather focuses on frameworks for understanding clinical processes. The role of speech and language therapists has evolved within recent years due to changes within the NHS, education and new government directives. As a result, the second edition of this book has been written.
The book has chapters on the role of the speech and language therapist; intervention; assessment; therapy; enabling, collaborating and educating; the work environment; record keeping and reporting, and a chapter called conclusions and beginnings briefly covering all those issues which are necessary to get to grips with when you first start professional life. These issues include registration, continuing professional development and clinical governance and audit.
The chapters do not limit or restrict the scope of responsibility the clinician has but rather points out the variety involved in the work of a speech and language therapist. Each chapter has a good theoretical background as its basis. The theory is then explained in the contexts in which the therapist is likely to work and is illustrated by case examples. The book elaborates on the skills, philosophies and knowledge needed in the different areas which are explored. It explains clearly and concisely the many varying terms and concepts involved in the profession.
I wish that I had been able to have access to this book both as a student clinician and as an experienced clinician starting work in a foreign country, especially for its clear explanation of how various governmental systems work. It explains extremely well the reality and context of working as a speech and language therapist in education, social services and the National Health Service in the United Kingdom today. It links the practicalities of the systems in which we work to the theory of good clinical skills.
It is a book which both educates about the clinical processes of therapy and is an informative resource for all the issues facing speech and language therapists working in the United Kingdom today.
'Speech and Language: Clinical Process and Practice', 2nd Edition Monica Bray, Alison Ross and Celia Todd. Whurr Publishers
From the Spring 2007 issue of 'Speaking Out', page 18