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Overholser, W. (1956). A Handbook of Hospital Psychiatry. A Practical Guide to Therapy: By Louis Linn, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1955. 560 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 25:437-437.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:437-437

A Handbook of Hospital Psychiatry. A Practical Guide to Therapy: By Louis Linn, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1955. 560 pp.

Review by:
Winfred Overholser

Primarily the author is writing about patients in state hospitals, although he mentions as well psychiatric departments in general hospitals. Even though many of the readers of this review are engaged in extramural practice, they will from time to time at least have to do with the hospital care of their patients. Furthermore, all residents presumably spend some of their training in mental hospitals—they certainly should, at least—, and this book should be prescribed reading for them. As Dr. Linn points out, by studying the major psychiatric syndromes in the mental hospital 'one may learn much about the general problem of emotional adaptation in health and disease' (p. xix).

The orientation of the book is not primarily toward mental hospital administration as such, but toward the various ways in which the hospital may react favorably upon the patient—the therapeutic aspects of the various personnel, of the structure and surroundings of the hospital, and of the functioning of the various departments.

The author has had state hospital and army hospital experience. He is a psychoanalyst, presently on the staff of the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and throughout he emphasizes therapy in its widest sense.

Space forbids a summary of the whole book, but an idea of its comprehensiveness can be obtained from an enumeration of the major headings: The Treatment Program; the Treatment Team; The Patients; The Hospital; The Community. There are five Appendices, among them a useful list of reading materials for a bibliotherapy program. Each chapter is followed by a list of selected references, with brief annotations.

The author has made a valuable addition to the literature of psychiatric treatment.

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