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Bech, E.B. (1950). Child Therapy. A Casework Symposium: Papers by Lucille N. Austin, Eleanor Clifton, Elise de la Fontaine, and Patricia Sacks. Edited by Eleanor Clifton and Florence Hollis. New York: Family Service Association of America, 1948. 217 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 19:596-598.

(1950). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 19:596-598

Child Therapy. A Casework Symposium: Papers by Lucille N. Austin, Eleanor Clifton, Elise de la Fontaine, and Patricia Sacks. Edited by Eleanor Clifton and Florence Hollis. New York: Family Service Association of America, 1948. 217 pp.

Review by:
Elisabeth Brockett Bech

Four authors, all recognized practitioners in the field of family casework, have contributed well-written case analyses to this symposium presented by the Community Service Society of New York. The director of this Society, which sets the style for many others in the country, explains in her introduction that the current emphasis is treatment and that 'psychotherapy is carried on both with child and adult by the caseworker' (pp. 1, 2), with psychiatrists available for consultation. Supervision of the detailed treatment is the function of the senior social workers. The director expresses confidence in the validity of this trend to offer psychotherapy through 'the practical application of psychoanalytical principles to the everyday problems of family living' (p. 1). The reviewer does not share this view; in fact, looks with misgiving on the current practice of psychotherapy by those who are not medically trained psychiatrists—psychologists, counselors, ministers and others are competing to help an eager public—whether they call their work psychotherapy or not. Perhaps one reason for the confusion existing is the lack of an exact scientific definition of psychotherapy, its processes, the training necessary for adequate practitioners and the requirements for licensing.

Social work has been striving toward a professional status and in the opinion of many has achieved this. Recognition of it as a separate discipline is based not on the fact that it has a body of specialized knowledge of its own to teach, but that it has worked out methods and techniques of applying and integrating the knowledge it borrows and adopts from other disciplines.

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