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Tavriger, R. (1969). Alistair Munro, M.D. & Wallace McCulloch, M.Sc.: Psychiatry for Social Workers. The Commonwealth and International Library. Pergamon Press., 283 pages.. J. Child Psychother., 2(3):89-89.
  

(1969). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 2(3):89-89

Alistair Munro, M.D. & Wallace McCulloch, M.Sc.: Psychiatry for Social Workers. The Commonwealth and International Library. Pergamon Press., 283 pages.

Review by:
Rachel Tavriger

A handbook of psychiatry for the social worker employed in a non-psychiatric setting is an essential piece of equipment, and “Psychiatry for Social Workers” contains much valuable information. However, Dr. Munro and Mr. McCulloch would appear to rate very low the general knowledge and degree of sophistication of today's social workers, and indeed, social worker students. The chapters on Human Growth and Development are more suitable for school leavers, and in an attempt to cover all aspects of the subject, much of the material has had to be over-condensed. It would perhaps have been more appropriate to assume some knowledge on the part of the social worker, and thus devote more space to the more difficult aspects of the subject.

The authors have made great efforts to avoid showing bias towards any one school of thought, so that at times they become unconvincing. In a short review, it is not possible to take issue on points of opinion, such as the dichotomy between reactive and endogenous depression, or the relationship between aggressive outbursts and temporal lobe epilepsy. It is also interesting to note that the patient with anxiety is referred to as “he”, whereas the hysteric becomes “she”.

However, in presenting factual material, in describing roles, and particularly in the section on history taking, the authors are clear, concise and useful. Perhaps this book should be re-entitled “Psychiatry for First Year Social Work Students.”

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