Profile for M. Garrison > Reviews

Browse

M. Garrison's Profile

Customer Reviews: 223
Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,095
Helpful Votes: 1234




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
M. Garrison RSS Feed (Seattle, WA USA)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The Child Psychotherapy Treatment Planner: Includes DSM-5 Updates
The Child Psychotherapy Treatment Planner: Includes DSM-5 Updates
by Arthur E. Jongsma
Edition: Paperback
Price: $46.54
58 used & new from $30.90

4.0 out of 5 stars this book seems like "paint by numbers" psychotherapy if you just flip through ..., June 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As with the others in this series, this book seems like "paint by numbers" psychotherapy if you just flip through it. If you think about the ways in which it can be more functionally used, though, it's use becomes more apparent. Especially for people who need help figuring out how to put their clinical documentation into the right words without spending time on that over and over again, this can be a big time saver. Likewise for those just starting out, who want to make sure that they aren't missing something that they really should be addressing, this gives a good list to scan.


MeadTrapper Keeper, 1.5 Inches, Sewn Binder, Black (72173)
MeadTrapper Keeper, 1.5 Inches, Sewn Binder, Black (72173)
Price: $15.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a disappointment in functionality, but it is what it is, not what it was., June 30, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was a big Trapper Keeper nut as a kid, and still have a couple of the 80s/90s ones left, so was excited to see this come in the mail.

On one hand, it still serves the same basic functionality -- it's a binder that won't suddenly fly open at inopportune times, unlike traditional binders. And on the upside, unlike many products which seem to go down in durability in subsequent generations, this actually seems to be made of quite a bit sturdier material than the ones I owned as a child. Also, while I miss the awesome sauce designs of the old-school Trapper Keepers, having something where I can shove in my own page / photo / label / whatever probably works for me on a more functional level.

On the other hand, there are some ways in which this Trapper Keeper was a significant let-down for me.

1) The Trapper Keeper now closes with a snap, and one which takes a decent amount of force to close. Now, I hate the sound of velcro as much as the next person, so I totally understand why they went away from the velcro route. But instead of going with a magnet, clasp, elastic, or any of another more functional options, they went with a snap -- which means that it has to be lined up well, then pushed with enough force that it can bend or mark the papers inside.

2) The old school Trapper Keepers came with 2-3 folders -- you might well decide to buy more (most of us did, I think), but at least you had something to start with. This, on the other hand, comes with nothing at all inside but dividers -- which are not nearly as useful for me in today's world as they were in the 90s, given how rarely I (or anyone else I know) uses loose leaf filler paper now. Folders that fit will in something like this are harder to find than they used to be, and I know few people who want to pay a shipping charge so that they can buy a folder or two online.

Truthfully, this was closer to 3 starts for me, but my nostalgia and the fact that it still has the same Trapper Keeper logo nudged it over to 4 stars at the finish line.


The Adolescent Psychotherapy Treatment Planner: Includes DSM-5 Updates
The Adolescent Psychotherapy Treatment Planner: Includes DSM-5 Updates
by Arthur E. Jongsma
Edition: Paperback
Price: $43.81
42 used & new from $43.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Overly simplistic in places, but good for documentation and consistency, June 22, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
For each of many diagnoses or other reasons a teen might enter psychotherapy, this book has lists of possible goals, objectives, and action steps. It's not set up with the idea that a provider would go through every single item with any given patient, but more of a menu of possibilities. Like all menus, however, it's by nature restrictive. Truthfully, I would hate to think of anyone providing psychotherapy to an adolescent and relying heavily on this book to tell them what each next step should be -- the proscribed steps tend to lack nuance and don't do a great job of coping with the complexity that any one adolescent may present with. Not surprisingly, the oversimplification appears the most problematic when it comes to more critical conditions (eating disorders, psychotic symptoms, etc.) and those which are about presenting concerns that are not diagnoses and have less of an evidence base for care (sexuality concerns, repeated runaways, etc.). For a provider that mostly sees youth with ADHD, adjustment reactions, and mild depression, the book might be more useful.

On the other hand, there are some things this book would be truly great help for:

1) if someone wants a list they can check against periodically, just to make sure they aren't missing something obvious, I can see this being a valuable and reassuring tool in that context. I could see that being useful not only for someone who is new, but also someone branching out into a "new to them" clinical area.

2) if someone is struggling with how to document the steps they take with patients in a clear, standardized way (eg, to meet the needs of insurance companies), there is a lot of content here that models very useful language in that regard, and there's enough that it might well cover a large chunk of what needs to be documented.


Collaborative Helping: A Strengths Framework for Home-Based Services
Collaborative Helping: A Strengths Framework for Home-Based Services
by William C. Madsen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $33.50
39 used & new from $24.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great about strategies for strengths-based perspectives, but not nearly as specific to home-based services as I'd hoped, June 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I picked up this book, I'll admit that what I was really hoping was something I could have my staff read that helped them understand how to navigate the complicated dynamics of working with families in their homes, as opposed to the more traditional clinic settings. And this book does indeed have a chapter on that -- but just the one chapter. The vast bulk of the book is about collaborative helping maps -- the theory behind them, and how to use them in different settings. This can be a great toolset to have in working with vulnerable families, but it's far from the only strengths-based approach that is relevant. As a result, for me the book felt a bit repetitive in places, giving many examples of the same skill, rather than branching out more into other strength-based approaches.

That said, if the concept of collaborative helping maps is new to you or your team, I think this could be a very valuable book. And truthfully, I think it's probably a helpful framework in many office-based settings as well, not just with home-based services. It is written at a very accessible and almost modular level, which would make it work well to parcel out and read together as a team. Myself, I'm going to have my staff read Chapter 7 for one of our staff training meetings, and keep this book on our shelves in case they want to learn more about the topic in general.


Belkin QODE Thin Type Keyboard Case for iPad Air (White)
Belkin QODE Thin Type Keyboard Case for iPad Air (White)
Price: $99.89
15 used & new from $72.10

3.0 out of 5 stars Great keyboard functionality, but can't be used if you decide to put another case on your iPad, June 20, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was all excited about this keyboard case, as the other ones I've tried were both bulky (slightly problematic) and had bluetooth keyboards that just didn't work as smoothly and consistently as I would need. So, I'd basically resigned myself to just typing on the on-screen keyboard for my iPad when this came along and rose my hopes again.

And I have to say, the bluetooth keyboard functionality on this is pretty excellent -- pairs easily, doesn't drain battery much on either the iPad or the keyboard, and most importantly, it actually works well as a keyboard. It is comfortable and stable to type on, the keys don't stick or stutter, and it holds up to fast typing speeds.

Unfortunately, the downsides are serious enough that they will keep me from using this device altogether. In part to save on battery life, there's no manual on/off switch on this bluetooth keyboard. I totally get their intent there, having previously worn a bluetooth keyboard battery down by forgetting to turn it off more than once, especially models that don't "sleep" quickly. Unfortunately, that means that you can only use this bluetooth keyboard when the iPad is propped up in the little slot, thereby weighting down a tiny rubber toggle that engages the keyboard. Why is that a problem for me?

1) The configuration simply isn't stable on anything other than a flat desk, whereas I'm often needing to type while sitting on a bus, on a sofa, etc. We take iPads out into the field in our work, and there's rarely a nice, neat, empty desk waiting for us when we need to type something in.

2) This keyboard case isn't a very functional case for me. The keys on the keyboard rest directly on the screen when it's closed (unlike some of the other keyboard cases I've tried), which means the oils of your fingertips transfer to the keyboard and from their to the screen, leaving little keyboard shaped squares all over the screen. More critically, it just isn't a very protective case -- there's really nothing about it that provides much protection from drops or any other hazards. All of this wouldn't be an issue for me if I could just put a better case on my iPad and still use this as a keyboard -- but given how it toggles on, you can't fit the iPad into the slot if there's an actual protective case on the device, which means that you can't engage the keyboard without taking the iPad out of extra case.

So, as much as I love how smoothly this keyboard types, I shall pass it on to someone else, and see if I can find something else that better suits my needs.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 23, 2014 12:53 AM PDT


The Secret Language of Animals: A Guide to Remarkable Behavior
The Secret Language of Animals: A Guide to Remarkable Behavior
by Janine M. Benyus
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.45
59 used & new from $7.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly in-depth while remaining accessible and fun to read -- a definite science writing win, June 12, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is amazing on several fronts. It's the kind of book I hope that libraries are snapping up like flies, especially since it does this great job of balancing scientific depth and accuracy with engaging and accessible language. I'm glad that I have my own copy of the book and I love it now, but I would have loved it possibly even more while growing up.

There are several books out there about animal behavior, so I'll focus on what makes this one different:
* it covers animal behavior in both wild and zoo settings -- not only does it mean that more people will be able to use the book in a hands on way, but the differences in behavior across settings can be incredibly illuminating.
* it explores animal behavior not only within group but across groups within the same species, across species in the he same or adjoining habitats, and looks at animal-human interactions in places as well.
* it has excellent table, figures, and diagrams that can make it easier to take all the information in
* it goes into gender differences, age differences, and role differences, and how they all result in some very dynamic interactions of animal behavior.
* I learned interesting content on every page, as opposed to the books that spend pages at a time reviewing the same material that was in your elementary school science textbook.
* did I mention how enjoyable and accessible the writing is enough times already? I could easily hand this book to a middle schooler, or even a motivated or interested 4th or 5th grader.
* it's just such a great balance of breadth and depth.


Wonder Works Tub O Towels Heavy-Duty 10" x 12" Size Multi-Surface Cleaning Wipes, 90 Count Per Canister
Wonder Works Tub O Towels Heavy-Duty 10" x 12" Size Multi-Surface Cleaning Wipes, 90 Count Per Canister
Price: $12.48
26 used & new from $12.48

5.0 out of 5 stars The Mack truck of pre-moistened towelettes., May 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When they say heavy-duty on these, they clearly mean it. I use those tubs of Lysol wipes all the time, and love them -- but these ones are bigger, sturdier, and wetter than the Lysol wipes can ever be. I've used these on my car, on my grill, and on my floors. I've used them to clean up cat puke and to clean out the inside of my washer (luckily for us all, not the same task). They really might be a bit too much for smaller jobs where you just need a quick, damp wipe, but for anything more than that, these are an excellent tool. Also, although I have sensitive hands that seem to get eczema breakouts in reaction to a gazillion different chemicals, these didn't bother my hands at all, even though I was too lazy to grab my cleaning gloves.


Graduation Day (The Testing)
Graduation Day (The Testing)
by Joelle Charbonneau
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.36
57 used & new from $7.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A satisfying conclusion on many levels, just not quite as sharply written as the first two in the series., May 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series -- perhaps the second felt like a stronger overall book for me than the first in retrospect, but I just felt like they were both solidly awesome reads. So not surprisingly, I was super excited to get my hands on this one. I blazed through the first half with just about the same speed I did with the earlier books, but somewhere around the middle, I started to feel a bit tired. I'm not sure exactly how to put it, but it was kind of like going to a great, high budget action movie, and having the production quality really drop for the middle third -- as if the music disappeared, the camera angles were suddenly all the same, etc. For me, that meant that I picked the book up several times after that, making it a few pages at a time, but it wasn't until maybe the last 2-3 chapters that I felt seriously captured again by the story. In the end, it was still definitely a satisfying read for me -- after all, how could I read those first two books and not find out how the story ends? And the ending itself is well worth getting to, and not nearly as neatly packaged and obvious as they often are in dystopian reads, so that was a treat as well.


BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light, Silver
BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light, Silver
Price: $255.11
7 used & new from $249.95

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The easiest set up and takedown I've ever seen in a portable crib, May 27, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are a myriad other portable cribs out there, many of which offer features that this one just doesn't have. This one has no bassinet, no diaper changer, no vibration or sounds, no pockets, nada. And yet, I'd still recommend it hands down, especially to anyone who wants their portable crib to actually BE portable. Why?

* lightweight and compact enough that it really wasn't a challenge to get it in and out of my trunk or back seat.
* even without reading the instructions first, I had it completely set up (and correctly, even) in under a minute.
* not only that, but I would have been able to set it up while holding a baby if necessary -- might have needed some odd bends, but it would have been doable. Please make sure that when you set it up, you follow through and complete the step where you pull the mattress tabs through at each corner and clip them onto the poles. Not only does that keep the mattress from sliding around, it also seems to make the whole thing more stable.
* I love that the mesh goes all the way down -- this thing is breathable no matter where the baby turns.
* the material is all easy to spot clean.
* the sides are angled in, which makes the crib less tippy, especially if your child tries to pull to standing while holding on to the sides. That said, I don't know that I'd trust it with a child old enough to try climbing out.
* once I realized the trick to it! I was able to collapse it and get it back in the bag easily, again in under a minute. This part I definitely wouldn't have been able to do while holding a baby, though -- unlocking the legs is clearly at two-handed task.
* once it packs up, the mattress goes around the folded crib like a taco shell! and then the whole thing goes into the canvas carry bag -- I have to think that this makes the whole thing far less vulnerable to breaking if you are trying to lug it around, through an airport, etc.

Yes, I can totally understand why some people love the bassinets and vibration and changing stations on their portable cribs. But I've also seen how rarely people are willing to try packing those up and carting them around for anything short of a major event, because they are so bulky, heavy, and awkward. Something like this, on the other hand, is likely to get far more use outside of the house than in it. If that's what you want in a portable crib, this one seems to be far more practical and stable than the others I've seen on the market in that category.


Pilates-2nd Edition
Pilates-2nd Edition
by Rael Isacowitz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.58
58 used & new from $13.58

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the pictures and the detail, just really wish it was spiral bound., May 27, 2014
This review is from: Pilates-2nd Edition (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love the pictures and the detail in this book -- reading through it after a Pilates class helps me "cement" what I've learned, and makes it easier to practice mat exercises at home, etc. Compared to the several other Pilates books I have acquired over the years, this one goes beyond just the mat exercises, though, and goes through exercises on all the main pieces of equipment. Thus far, every exercise I've ever learned in class has been in this book. The only significant downside for me is that I really, really wish the book was spiral bound. So often I read something and want to try a position, only to have to flop the book upside down or dog-ear a page, then try it, and then open the book back up again to check what I missed. Having a lay flat spiral binding would have added a lot to the book for me -- personally, I would have been willing to pay twice the price for that, as the book just isn't as functional without that. I would have rated this book 4.5 stars, but amazon makes me choose an integer.

I may end up getting the ebook version to have on my iPad, since that can stay open. :)


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20