Psychiatric Social Work: A Transactional Case Book

Psychiatric Social Work: A Transactional Case Book

Psychiatric Social Work: A Transactional Case Book

Psychiatric Social Work: A Transactional Case Book

Excerpt

The researches reported in this volume were carried out in the Outpatient Clinic of the Division of Psychiatry at the Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center. They were initiated in order to resolve what we felt to be a pressing need to evaluate the current functions of social workers in general and of psychiatric social workers in particular. For a long time their operations in the Clinic were taken for granted as necessary and valuable, but the operations eluded definition because of profound and rapid changes in emphasis which began about the time of World War II. Because current social work functions are syntonic with psychiatric needs—in fact, the therapeutic roles of social workers were induced by psychiatrists—the underlying confusions, doubts, and uncertainties in the social work field for the most part have been unrecognized or at least neglected.

At Michael Reese psychiatry was initiated in 1921 with the establishment of a child guidance clinic whose leadership gradually evolved an early form of psychodynamically oriented diagnosis and treatment. By the time an adult psychiatric clinic was opened in 1936, dynamic psychiatry was practiced by a team composed of psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychiatric social workers, each member having his own specific function. Serious efforts during those early days were made to increase the specific skills of each team member and to facilitate integration into a cohesive group.

Gradually changes occurred in these specialized approaches, so that now each member of the psychiatric team functions in a somewhat similar interpersonal relationship with client or patient. The learning . . .

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