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Unread October 25th, 2004, 03:19 PM
JustBen JustBen is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 58
Default Opinions on Burns' Therapist Toolkit?

Just wondering if anyone on the board has any experience with and/or opinions of Dr. David Burns' "Therapist Toolkit". According to Dr. Burns' website, this toolkit is "400 + pages of comprehensive state-of-the-art assessment and treatment tools for the mental health professional." Covers depression, anxiety, relationship satisfaction, etc. Burns claims 90-95% reliability, and that the instruments within have "excellent convergent and discriminant validity and are highly correlated with well established instruments."

I'm considering the package for a couple reasons. First of all, it's only $189 for the whole shooting match, and that includes unlimited reproduction rights. More importantly, it's actually available to me -- while I fully expect to reach Pearson's highest qualification level (A), I'm not planning to reach Harcourt's highest qualification level (C) in the near future, and Harcourt manages the Beck instruments (my first choice). I fully understand the imperative not to work beyond my qualifications, so I'm not thrilled with the prospect of referring clients to a Ph.D. every time I want to run a BDI-II. (Whether or not C-Level is actually appropriate for the BDI-II is another question altogether.)

Anyway, cheap and accessible are good factors, but only if the psychometrics are there. Has anyone worked with Burns' instruments before? What kind of reputation do they have in the field? Can anyone point me in the direction of some useful references? I haven't been able to find anything about the component instruments in the MMY, which makes me a little nervous.
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Unread November 1st, 2004, 10:33 PM
James Pretzer James Pretzer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 283
Default Preliminary Opinions on Burns' Therapist Toolkit

I haven't used the Toolkit myself so I asked around a bit. I've heard from two experienced Cognitive therapists (both ACT members) who have used it. They like it and find it useful. I haven't heard any negative opinions so far.

I've sent out a few more queries and may have more info in a few days.
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Unread November 2nd, 2004, 09:33 AM
JustBen JustBen is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 58
Default Re: Opinions on Burns' Therapist Toolkit?

Thank you very much. I really appreciate your efforts.
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Unread November 3rd, 2004, 09:46 AM
James Pretzer James Pretzer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 283
Default Dave Burns' info about the Therapist Toolkit

Dave Burns provided the following information about the contents of his Therapist's Toolkit as well as ordering information:

What Is the Therapist's Toolkit?

The Therapist's Toolkit includes 400+ pages of state-of-the-art assessment and treatment tools for the mental health professional.

Why purchase the Therapist's Toolkit?

Many popular tests for common disorders such as depression must be purchased for approximately $1 per copy. If you have a busy practice or clinic, royalty fees can run into the thousands of dollars per year--and you own nothing at the end of the year. In contrast, when you obtain the Therapist's Toolkit, you become licensed to reproduce dozens of testing and treatment tools in your clinical practice for your entire career, so you will not have to pay royalties each time you administer a psychological test. Multi-user site licenses are also available for group practices and institutions. This can be a substantial cost savings.

How do these tools compare with other instruments? Many widely used assessment tests for depression, anxiety, and other disorders were created decades ago. They're not user-friendly and do not have outstanding psychometric properties. In contrast, the instruments in the Therapist's Toolkit are exceptionally user-friendly for the clinician and patient alike. They have superb psychometric properties. Nearly all have reliabilities above 90%, most above 95%. They're highly correlated with other, well-established instruments.

Here's what you get—

1995 Therapist's Toolkit

Part 1 - 145 pages

Assessment tools include tests for depression, anxiety, relationship satisfaction, and therapeutic empathy, along with answer sheets and scoring keys; Self-Defeating Beliefs Scale; Clinician’s History form (brief and complete versions); Speedy Screening System for DSM-IV (Axes I and II); Patient’s Evaluation of Therapy; and Termination Summary
Part 2 - 129 pages

Individual therapy tools include the Summary of Cognitive Interventions, Daily Mood Log with instructions, Checklist of Cognitive Distortions, Troubleshooting Guide, How to Untwist Your Thinking, Cost-Benefit Analysis (three types with instruction sheet), Daily Activity Schedule, Anti-Procrastination Sheet, and the Decision Making Form (with instruction sheet). Also included are The Concept of Self-Help Memo, How to Make Therapy Rewarding and Successful, The Anti-Hopelessness Memo, progress notes, medication records, Clinician’s Data Sheet, and more.

Interpersonal therapy tools include the Relationship Cost-Benefit Analysis (with instruction sheet), Revise Your Communication Style (with instructions), Good vs. Bad Communication, Bad Communication Checklist, Five Secrets of Effective Communication, Feeling Words Chart, 12 Barriers to Self-Expression, and 12 Barriers to Listening.

1997 Upgrade - 150 pages

Includes new and improved assessment tools for:
Anxiety Disorders: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, OCD, Social Phobia, PTSD
Depression: Burns Depression Checklist (25-item and 5-item versions, plus assessment of suicidal urges)
Relationship Problems: Relationship Satisfaction Scale (new 5-item version), Anger Scale, Violent Urges Scale
Therapy Session Evaluation: Empathy Scale, Helpfulness of Session (5-item and full-length versions)
Positive Emotions: Happiness, Self-Esteem, Intimacy, Productivity, Playfulness, Freedom from Fear, Hope, Spirituality (eight 5-item scales)
Self-Help Report: For tracking patients' self-help activities and psychotherapy homework
Convenient Chart Records: Makes it easy to record scores and review changes over time
And more! As noted, most scales come with a choice of time perspectives ("indicate how have you been feeling over the past week" vs. "indicate how you are feeling at this moment"). Many scales are available in two lengths. The full-length versions have superb reliabilities (typically 95% or better) and are suitable for comprehensive assessment. The brief, 5-item scales also have outstanding reliabilities (typically 90% or better) and are suitable for tracking symptoms on a session-by-session basis. Many scales are also formatted in large typeface to help individuals with impaired vision or reading difficulties
Free 2004 Upgrade

If you order the Therapist's Toolkit now, you're entitled to a free 2004 Upgrade. All you have to do is email me once you've received your Therapist's Toolkit in the mail. The free upgrade is ONLY available via email, and will come via return email. You must have an email service that accepts attachments. Some free email services, such as Hotmail, don't work. In this case, you can provide the email address of a colleague or friend who will receive the upgrade for you.

The 2003 Upgrade contains more than 40 Microsoft Word files containing wonderful new instruments you can use in you clinical work, including the new Easy Diagnostic System for DSM-IV, the new and improved Daily Mood Log, the new and improved Brief Mood Survey with individual and group scales, scales in Spanish, the new Pain Scale, instruments for children, scales to use in medical settings, a therapy supervision scale, the 50 Ways to Untwist Your Thinking, and much more.

You'll love it, and you can't beat the price! This is a time-limited offer. Order soon.
Cost: $189 for a single clinician. Additional clinicians can be licensed to share your copy of the Therapist's Toolkit for $60 each. California residents must add 7.5% sales tax. Please add $15 shipping and handling. US funds only. Send check to:

David Burns, MD
11987 Murietta Lane
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

To request an order form or further information, send an email to:

. Thank you! David Burns, M.D.
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