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Whitaker, C.A. (1969). Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry: An Interpersonal Approach. A. H. Chapman. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1967. 475 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 56C(3):490.

(1969). Psychoanalytic Review, 56C(3):490

Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry: An Interpersonal Approach. A. H. Chapman. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1967. 475 pp.

Review by:
Carl A. Whitaker

The field of psychiatry has needed a textbook which adequately covers the breadth and variety of the field, and which is creative, exciting and alive. I'm afraid Dr. Chapman has not written the book that we need. His approach is labeled interpersonal. It seems to this reviewer a traditional, eclectic and descriptive presentation that resembles the textbooks of yesterday. As a simplified, rather photogenic, detailing of the massive varieties of human experience, it covers in everyday language data that a good clinician experiences in his work-a-day living. Dr. Chapman has presented by means of an efficient but rather mechanical description the psychiatric classifications as labeled. He is a psychiatrist who doesn't really believe in interpersonal relating with conviction-which emerges in this book. The addition of interpersonal data in his descriptive text is essentially a presentation of the one-to-one relationship.

Dr. Chapman does not deal with many of the modern modalities of communication theory, learning theory, or systems theory. He also neglects any adequate description of the modern therapeutic methodologies. His Meyerian pattern of history-taking and discussion with advice, and presuming some help from “insight” and “advice,” is really quite out of date.

Dr. Chapman writes in an easy to read style, but the pedantic character of the subject matter is not helped by his long training in clinical description. He has failed to interject either clear-cut organization or personal conviction. Finally, the text is not redeemed by the spice and sparkle that would make it fun to read.

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