Handbook of Military Social Work
Handbook of Military Social Work, edited by Allen Rubin, Eugenia L.Weiss, & Jose E. Coll. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2013. 608 pages, $65 hardcover, $45.99 e-book.
Handbook of Military Social Work is a true handbook! This text is all-encompassing and contains everything needed in a handbook—resources, glossary of military terms, case vignettes, and content covering all aspects of the helping process and connecting to the core military social work competencies based on the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS) of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Edited by Allen Rubin, Eugenia L. Weiss, and Jose E. Coll, included are 26 powerful chapters authored by civilian practitioners, military practitioners, and scholars covering aspects of social work with service members, veterans, as well as their associated family members. Beginning with the history of social work in the military, the text lays the foundation for social work with service members and veterans including unique challenges facing women in the military, as well as ethical dilemmas facing uniformed and civilian social workers—chapters useful for all, from military providers to students.
Considered important for educators, the editors have done an outstanding job of organizing the text—Part I: Foundations of Social Work With Service Members and Veterans; Part II: Interventions for the Behavioral Health Problems of Service Members and Veterans; Part III: Veterans and Systems of Care; and Part IV: Families Impacted by Military Service.
As a social work educator and uniformed military social worker, I am adding this text to my repertoire of resources. This is a desktop resource that students, educators, clinicians, clients, and those not in the field of social work can immediately use. This text scores high in readability, is easy to understand, and has applicability to almost any circumstance confronting social workers today. Nothing is omitted! The layout makes it practical for educators, allowing for the ability to design a curriculum appropriate for MSW and BSW programs. Several chapters contain case vignettes and discussion questions, making the text applicable and relevant. Vignettes bring to life circumstances and varying experiences faced by clients and providers.
Key features are topics related to specific treatment modalities and therapeutic approaches used with families and veterans. An important chapter is Psychopharmacology for PTSD and Co-Occurring Disorders. The authors define various classes of medication and even address gender differences and medication side effects. The editors and authors have also made the Handbook relevant for clients in chapters such as Cycle of Deployment and Family Well-Being and The Exceptional Family Member Program.
Although the intended audience is social workers serving military members and veterans, military service members who are not social workers may avail themselves of the contents of the text. Those in leadership positions within the military, the chaplaincy, JAG corps, and other professions within the military will find this book helpful. Even the Glossary of Military Terms and Veteran Organizations and Military Family Resources sections are a great resource. I will definitely recommend this text to others and will use it in my Social Work in the Military course and in my role as a military social worker. The Handbook of Military Social Work is an awesome tool!
Reviewed by Sonja V. Harry, PhD, LMSW, ACSW, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Winston-Salem State University.