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Castelnuovo-Tedesco, P. (1977). Psychological Care of the Medically Ill: A Primer in Liaison Psychiatry: By James J. Strain, M.D. and Stanley Grossman, M.D. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1975. 223 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 46:703-705.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:703-705

Psychological Care of the Medically Ill: A Primer in Liaison Psychiatry: By James J. Strain, M.D. and Stanley Grossman, M.D. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1975. 223 pp.

Review by:
Pietro Castelnuovo-Tedesco

In the past ten years or so there has been a resurgence of interest in the psychiatric problems of the medical patient, and much attention is now being given to this area. Psychosomatic medicine, which gradually lost its popularity in the late fifties, has recently re-emerged under a new name, liaison psychiatry. Liaison psychiatry, however, is not only a different name; its emphases are different as well. Its outlook is self-consciously eclectic—psychobiological and somatopsychic as well as psychosomatic. Moreover, while psychosomatic medicine concerned itself mainly with the problems of the individual patient and with the psychology of particular disease entities, liaison psychiatry also contends with institutional forces that shape the working relationship ("liaison") between psychiatry and the other clinical services.

This book attempts to introduce the medical student and the psychiatric resident to this "new" field. The orientation is down-to-earth and pragmatic. Obviously, the subject is so vast and complex that it would have been extremely difficult to do justice to it in its entirety. The authors, James J. Strain and Stanley Grossman from Montefiore Hospital in New York, have wisely directed their book to practical issues and have emphasized how this discipline is actually practiced. The book thus refers not only to specific patients, but also to a variety of clinical situations as they occurred in Montefiore Hospital. Some readers may gain the impression that one hears more than is necessary about Montefiore and its circumstances.

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