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Freudenberger, H.J. (1974). Clinical Practice in Community Mental Health Centers. H. S. Whitlington. New York: International Universities Press, 1972. 160 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 61(2):313.

(1974). Psychoanalytic Review, 61(2):313

Clinical Practice in Community Mental Health Centers. H. S. Whitlington. New York: International Universities Press, 1972. 160 pp.

Review by:
Herbert J. Freudenberger

The National Institute of Mental Health has defined five essential services necessary to ensure comprehensiveness in a mental health center: (a) outpatient service, (b) twenty-four-hour hospitalization, (c) partial hospitalization, (d) emergency psychiatric services, and (e) consultation and education services.

Whitlington principally explores one aspect of this five-service linkage system, i.e., the development of a rational treatment plan on an outpatient and partial hospitalization basis. He strongly favors an eclectic outpatient program that uses individual psychotherapy, group therapy, pharmacotherapy, and milieu therapy. In other words, all therapies make sense; the participants should not tie themselves solely to one technique.

Whitlington then gives some reasons for treating different patients with different approaches. He is very much against permitting a patient in a community health structure to regress on the grounds that regressing a patient will only “increase personal and social disability” for that patient. He deals extensively with treatment options he feels are open to the health worker.

The approach and the manner in which the material is presented are essentially those of a manual geared more toward those with less experience and training than most psychoanalysts have. The sections on caseload regulation and treatment, as well as those on team practice, would also seem to appeal more to the less experienced. In my opinion, those who are working in a community mental health center or teaching graduate students in social work or psychology ought to consider using this book as a text. It has some good material worthy of serious classroom discussion.

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